Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Online assignment 3 Sarah Kuelbs

In the movie Mickey Mouse Monopoly, it is easy to see that these movies have a huge impact on children.  Two of obvious ways are through the magic bullet and through cultural means.
When children watch Disney movies, they try to imitate them through play.  This is an obvious trait of the magic bullet, which affects children directly.  When children play, they act out direct scenes.  Children often imitate characters - girls playing stereotypical feminine roles and boys following suit in male roles, often saving the girls.  Also, racial prejudice is obvious in Disney movies.  Voices played by minorities often portray negative roles.  For example, the chihuahua in Oliver and Company played a character who was open and willing to do illegal tasks.  Children associate these voices with voices of real children and will assume racial minority children also are associated with crime and violence.
This is an example of the magic bullet because the effect is strong and direct, reinforcing gender and racial roles.  However, this is also a cycle in our culture.  As racial and gender discrimination continue in our culture, these roles are reinforced and produced more in mass by the media.  Another way Disney infiltrates into our culture is through consumerism.  This is produced in mass through many aspects of our culture.  This includes video games, clothing, toys, and even household items.  It is easy to see how Disney has become an obvious part of our culture.  While children do not realize this, Disney and consumerism go hand in hand and feeds the loop of what is produced in our culture.
Both ways obviously affect children, and whole Disney movies are important to many Americans, it is important that we are aware of these effects.  Disney movies should be produced with stereotypes and gender roles in mind, making them more appropriate for children.  And while they will probably continue to promote consumerism, parents should try to avoid buying all these products for their children, and instead, teaching children about race and gender roles in American society.


  1. Great work Sarah! I like how you cite specific examples from the film and connect them directly to lecture. You expand on ideas and present your own examples, as well. You delve into the magic bullet perspective very thoroughly. To make your observations stronger, it may be a good idea to note that many of the researchers focused on more of the indirect effects of Disney due to the corporation's longevity in the market. It would be great to contrast and combine the direct and indirect effects and their related perspectives (magic bullet and cross-cultural studies). Again, great work!

  2. I really enjoyed your analysis Sarah. I think you are spot on in your criticism of both consumers of media and Disney for their role in gender and racial discrimination and consumerism. I enjoy your discussion of consumerism and how you describe the "loop" of what we produce feeds what we want produced. You do a good job of describing the concepts of lecture through the examples set forth in the documentary. I personally think that a strong responsibility lands on the parents to teach their children that Disney's representation is not the only representation of women and race. Also, I hope to see a different strategy from Disney in the future, as recent films have seemed to somewhat break away from the traditional roles of women.

  3. Your first point presented showing that children act out direct scenes from movies with very questionable representations can clearly lead to a multitude of problems. Thinking about the consequences that could arrive from a young boy not being seen as "manly", strong, or heroic enough could have a variety of negative consequences. The same correlation could very well be applied to young females of which many fall short of these extreme beauty standards. I thought all your connections were perfectly on cue, and can even be extended into other aspects of American culture. You brought up the chihuahua that has the distinct voice of a spanish person which today, is the quintessential trademark of Taco Bell also related to the Spanish culture.