Sunday, May 31, 2009

Readings due Monday 6-1

Ethnographic Research for Media Studies
1.) The author mentions ethnographic gaze often, and frequently states, “this is what I mean”, but it is always different. What exactly is the ethnographic gaze?
2.) It's discussed that ethnography is used to research so many different topics from culture, societies, to more specific things like why a college man likes to get drunk every friday and get in a fight downtown. Is it even possible to find answers to questions so specific through this type of research, especially since every person is raised with different situations molding them into different people with a different thought process.

Chapter 2
1.) Polanyi’s second observation is “the fact that we generally do not have access to the reasons that we do things” (p 39) and that if people are asked to answer this question they often refer to common sense, which has been framed by our culture. Do you think that this changes from person to person depending on one’s education level?
2.) While reading about science, witchcraft, and explaining things away, the thought of all the different conspiracy theories from Presidential assassinations, UFO’s, and 9/11 came to mind. They all seem to revolve around the government. In the past did the government determined and implemented their own thoughts into our society, which overtime became our culture and only recently people have stopped being passive and become active of the beliefs of certain ideas and began to question?
3.) The term “cultural took kit” is brought up multiple times throughout the chapters, but never given a definition. Is this term best described on page 36 as the three things people do to visualize when communicating?

Chapter 6
1.) Willis makes a point that “commodities and images are used by people to create meaning, identity, and belonging” (p 97), therefore, consumerism should not be seen as passive, but an active choice. Do you agree with this?
2.) When discussing fashion, the book states, “many youth subcultures have not been directly instigated by the fashion industry” (p 96). Willis says the clothes are bought in second hand stores, does this mean that the fashion industry is not at all marketing towards these people?

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