Monday, November 25, 2013

Online Assignment #3_Wenberg

Ryan Wenberg
J201 Sec. 313
Word Count: 568

Online Assignment #3

            The film Mickey Mouse Monopoly describes the adverse effects that Disney movies have on children in our society. Mickey Mouse Monopoly has many different experts describe their views on the effects of Disney, each with their own perspectives on the gravity and methods of these effects. Many of these experts believe that Disney is affecting society in the same ways that were described in lecture: magic bullet, cultivation theory, and cultural studies.
            The magic bullet theory is expressed most commonly in this film with the example of the effects that Disney has on shaping children’s beliefs. Dr. Elizabeth Hadley within the first five minutes of the film states that the images that Disney portrays in its movies and cartoons are absorbed by kids and shape their ideologies. The magic bullet perspective of the media portrays it as a powerful and direct influence on people capable of inciting action. People like Dr. Hadley believe that this is especially true when it comes to children as they are shown images of certain practices and beliefs and because that is what is shown to them, they distort it as the truth. Dr. Justin Lewis also believes that this is true as he claims that because Disney movies and images are so widespread and commonplace, the imaginations of children all over the world are shaped by Disney. This also plays a part into the cultivation theory of media.
            The cultivation theory is the focused on the cultural environment of the media and the cumulative, subtle changes over a long period of time. Dr. Gail Dines says that children develop their notions of reality from cultural mechanisms, which plays into Dr. Lewis’ claim that children’s imaginations are also formed by the media. The idea that these base systems of beliefs for young children are directly shaped by media corporations like Disney has an adverse effect on their adult lives. Dr. Carolyn Newberger explains this through Beauty and the Beast. She describes how this film inadvertently teaches girls to over look an abusive spouse’s behavior, which can be a horrible belief for a woman to have later on in life. Yet it is the image that was engrained in a young child’s mind that could have a terrible effect on her later on in life which is the key in understanding the cultivation theory.
            The most repeated perspective in Mickey Mouse Monopoly is cultural studies. Numerous experts talk about the cultural consequences of the movies Disney makes. Whether it’s Dr. Alvin Poussaint describing how stereotypes of minorities and other cultures are portrayed in Disney films or Dr. Henry Giroux, the author of a book detailing the corporate implications of Disney movies, describing how Disney uses its power as a corporation to keep the status quo of their company’s images from being scrutinized, all of these experts seem to agree that Disney has a major influence on the culture of our society. The clearest example of this is Dr. Dines’ description of sexualized images of women in Disney movies. Disney portrays almost all of it’s female characters as a stereotype of a seductive attractive woman that uses her body to get what she wants and needs a man’s help in order to rescue them not because that this is a representation of women in the real world, but because this is the image of women these movies are trying to shape into the cultural norm.  

1 comment:

  1. Ryan, your examples with the magic bullet theory, cultivation theory, and cultural studies were very concise, informative, and most of all interesting. Kids are definitely the most impressionable demographic, so it only makes sense that Disney would focus all of its effort on shaping their perspectives about the world, its history, and the history of the people who live on it. You're also correct in saying that children's beliefs are shaped over time through the cultivation theory because they have been exposed to Disney's films over an extended period of time. The cultural studies perspective is certainly the most emphasized because of how race and gender roles are common themes that appear throughout Disney's films. Great analysis!