Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Readings due 6/17

1. How can men feel such a feeling of accomplishment about a team that isn't even real? What do they get out of it?

2. In the reading, Chad states, "Fantasy has changed football" (239). What do you think he means by this statement?


1. Do you feel that fans write these stories because they would like to see more homosexual characters in their favorite shows?

2. Do you think that people write these stories because they have homosexual tendencies or just because they want to keep the storyline going?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Readings due 6/16/09


1.) Why do many straight women write about sex between gay men, but straight men do not write about sex between lesbian women.

2.) Why do slash stories become more "adult" and sexually aggressive when tensions and hostility arise between Clark and Lex in Smallville. Do we associate hatred and violence with maturity or aggressive sex?

Fantasy Football

1.) What other activities besides sports are acceptable excuses for male bonding?

2.) Fantasy football can enhance relationships/community, but does it also then break apart real team communities? Is this case, does fantasy football become a negative development in football evolution?

Slash Writing: Smallville A Gay Clark Kent?

1. The article states, that "one needs to divide conceptions of queer spectatorship into two components: one, a way of seeing queerly and two, a person or group of persons who can be loosely grouped unter the heading of queer spectators." Is it that easy to divide the two? Why is it necessary to make that certain distinction? Do straight people see queerly?

2. How does the author describe seeing queerly, what do you think of seeing "queerly" in relation to television shows?

3. As someone who has watched the show Smallville, I don't distinctly remember sensual, sexual embraces and carresses by the two, so it makes me harder to understand the slash writings that are written about Clark and Lex's relationships. Do you think that slash writings are seens as relationships that women want their two male characters to have, they don't necessarily see them as gay, but rather they want a relationship developed but not between another girl?

4. What the heck is Hoyay? Not to let my opinion get in the way, but this was such a weird section of the paper, I guess I don't really understand Hoyay, is it just a queer expression in the relationship of slash magazines between two men? I read it but I guess I want a little more insight.

Fantasy Football: Readings for 6/17

1. What do you think is the typical fantasy football participant? Thea article discusses how an average fantasy league participant has spent $154 on sporting merchandise, ie. magazines, the fees. What draws fantasy league players together, why do you think a majority of these members are members are males, what is the appeal?

2.Why do you think the author saw this as an interesting type of research to conduct? He states he put open ended questions on a chat board, asking why they participated in this and so on? This isn't relatively new, but it has taken on a much bigger meaning now, then it has before, do you think that this research gives insight to the idea behind fantasy leagues?

3. He says that fantasy football was chosen as the examplar among sports because 93% of fantasy sports participants play it. Why do you think fantasy leagues tend to veer more towards football, is it because interaction can be higher, and football is rowdier?

4. It's interesting to see that many of the men in this research joined the league for social reasons, and others for organizational reasons. Do you think that's interesting, seeing how we have read other researches where the women did certain things to be social or to develop relatinoships?

Virtual Sports 6-17

1.) Do you believe there are more factors than just companionship for those that participate in fantasy football?
2.) Why is it that men feel as though they have achieved a goal, or have an alter ego of a player on their ‘team’? Do you think it is just a males dream to become an athlete, so they live vicariously through fantasy football?
3.) Lastly, do you think professional athletes ever participate in these fantasy sports? Why or why not?

Fandom Part 2

Readings for 6/16/09:

Serazio responses:

1) Serazio states that "fantasy participation and experience is reduced from the macro-level of sociology to the micro-workings of psychology," (Serazio, 231). Through the text following these two terms of behavior explain, does Serazio want us to understand that fantasy participation allows us to cheer for particular teams and players, while at the same time be proud of ourselves because we feel the outcomes were ours specifically? Do we feel the actions and outcomes of our choices are ours to celebrate personally?

2) On page 237, there is a section on Simulated Experiences. Within this text, Serazio states the second core theoretical theme as vicarious competition. Several quotes were taken which explained participants described themselves as competitive and liking camaraderie. Because fantasy participation does not have its participants physically competing, what aspect of this topic makes people feel the same competitiveness and thrill when all they do is hope their picks do well during the week? Does this type of subconscious reaction help describe what being a fan means?

Kohnen responses:

1) In Kohnen's article, there is a section where a fan says, "the characters who go on to have a future together are Clark, Lex and Lois..." (Kohnen, 215). Is it a possibility that, in the case of Smallville, fans create these homosexual bonds and the combining if two characters of the opposite sex into one a way to fight off the inevitable or keep the fantasy story going? Smallville is a show which is a prologue to the fictional world of Superman, and since Superman has already been written, fans know Lana will cease to exist and Lois Lane will take her place as the love interest. By creating bonds which the writers do not literally show, a new world of discussion is open to interpretation, and fans take these opportunities to create their own alternate universe.

2)Looking at the overall theme of this article, we are told that many (most) older, heterosexual women 'slash' television and movie male relationships into a homosexual couple. Is it possible these women not only express male duo relationships as a homosexual bond, but that they see the characters' essences and personalities as something that would pair well together? Is there a possible stimulation to think of themselves as in that type of relationship, even when it is fantasized around two people of the same sexual origin?

Fantasy Football & Queer Media Readings

Why are men so consumed by sports? My father was obsessed with fantasy football. All he could talk about is the way different players performed.

How can the players feel so attached to their players? How do they get a sense of accomplishment from a team that is fake?

Is it possible that queer readings of media can steer young people toward homosexuality? Or are queer readings a result of the homosexual tendencies of the viewer?

Queer readings are the result of the emergence of 1990s gay characters?

Star Treck Rerun, Reread, Rewritten

1. Jenkins discusses how consumption, involves reclaiming textual material,"making it one's own, appropriating or reappropriating it." What does he mean by this and what would be some examples of how might people do this?

2. What could be some problems that could occure with this "Fandom" subculture? Do you think how they are actining and what they are doing is a problem, or just an expression of their liking?

Star Trek

Jenkins- Star Trek Rerun, Reread, Rewritten
1.) On pg 88, Jenkins talks about why fans enter into fandom and states the reason is due to “a movement from social and cultural isolation, doubly imposed upon them as women within a patriarchal society…” What do you think this means?
2.) Why do you think followers of Star Trek would be interested in fanzines and letterzines, since it is not written by the producers?
3.) Along with the previous question, why do you think fans would risk potential legal action being taken against them, for clear copyright infringement?
4.) Why do you think the percentage of fanzine writers (90%) is women? What specific reasons are there?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Star Trek Fandom

1.) How do you think a dedicated fan reads the new Star Trek film vs. the television series?

2.) Do you feel that fandom in Star Trek, allows viewer's to rework issues they have with the characters that correlate with personal issues they have with oneself or with society?

Star Trek Fandom

1. Why do you think any sort of extreme fandom is considered dorky or for socially awkward people?

2. "Men want a physical problem with physical action leading to a physical resolution. Women want a psychological problem with a psychological action leading to a physiological resolution."
Do you think that this quote sums up a lot of the gender specifications that we have been discussing in class in relation to the way men and women view and interpret media?

Women and Star Trek.

1.This specific reading deals with the understanding of Star Trek, the idea of a real fan and and how one's life becomes if you are a real fine, and the stereotypes of that particular fan, this reading particularly deals with women and the fan fascination of writing their own stories about Star trek. However, we have to look at one thing, what does it truly mean to be involved with trekfandom?

2.I think after learning the meaning of trekfandom we will now beging to understand the article more, and the world in which the subjects interview live in, and create. Do you think a women's background can truly depict if they are a star trek fan, is there only one certain type of fan, the lonely and the nonsocial?

3. What are fanzines? Do you think it is unjustified work to that of the Original Star Trek writings, should it not be allowed. Star Trek isn't the only franchise that fans have rewritten in their own blogs, creating their own versions of the story, Harry Potter is also a well known franchise as well. Do you think fans shouldn't be allowed to write their own versions, their own fanzines?

4. According to the reading, why are women seen more likely to creat fan writing then men are? Do you think this is true? Are women more creative, or do they tend to get more involved with the fantasies in which they grow perhaps obsessions to?

5. Why is there such the standard that women shouldn't write fanzines about science fiction movies or novels? How has this changed, has it changed?

Jenkins 6/16

1. Do you feel that it should be okay for fans and viewers to use the characters of Star Trek for their own personal stories, even though they are clearly copyrighted?

2. The reading explains that "feminine texts," such as soap operas and novels, fail to meet the need of a more professionally oriented women, and they find pleasure in watching a show with active involvement of women (93). How do you feel about this statement? Do you agree?

Star Trek Fandom

I would be very curious to see how the author views the new Star Trek that is in theaters now. The opening scene involves a psychological problem that he suggests women look for in the media text. Are feminine audiences more satisfied with female characters in the new version of Star Trek?

Elana, when you wrote your book Undead TV: Essays on Buffy the Vampire Slayer did you find similar situations where feminine representations were left incomplete?

How is it that we can be completely captivated by drama that reveals true stories about human nature? Personally, I'm completely addicted to Weeds, Tru Blood, and Reno 911. I spent hours watching these dramas unfold as I feel I grow closer to the characters. I visit web sites about these thrilling dramas, and even subscribe to text message alerts to get even more involved. Why do we like getting so involved with our favorite shows?

Fandom: "Star Trek Rerun, Reread, Rewritten"

Jenkins reading responses for 6/16/09

1) A section in Jenkins article describes one of the reasons people become fans and exercise fandom qualities is because they feel lonely. "Fans characterize their entry into fandom in terms of a movement from social and cultural isolation...and as seekers of alternate pleasures within dominant media representations," (Jenkins, 88). If this argument states people want a sense of belonging in a culture that is segregated towards one idea, why then do many members shun those who are seen as outsiders towards their craft? If a person who is not that into Star Trek says something illiterate towards that community, why does the specific fan turn them away or turn them down? Is becoming a fan a way to escape isolation but at the price of separating you from the outside world?

2) Page 99 introduces a section on The Moral Economy of Fan Fiction. In the land of fiction writers have an endless supply of ideas and themes they can present in their texts, especially in Sci-Fi Star Trek. I understand writers must continue themes that are pleasing towards the viewers and cannot stray to far into the abyss, but what stops them from expressing economical themes which other media types are trying to turn? For instance, Captain Kirk always kisses the special guest star female. They swoon to his charm or charm him unconsciously. This aids to male dominance in the work place. Or the majority white male cast. Evil"Alien's" were sometimes given painted faces, or heavy make-up which would not be seen as Caucasian representation. Because this particular show is so influential and contains a high fan based community, what stops writers from demonstrating their own beliefs on how society should be represented?

Selling Sexual Subject/ Queers Online

1. In the article Sender states that "blatant homosexuality does not have mass appeal, but the exotic implications of hiden homosecuality have huge sales potential," why do you think this is?

2. Why do you think that it was harder for the participants to make specific lesbian attributions in looking at the ads?

1. Why do you think it is easier for Gay's to come out on-line versus any other way?

2. Do you agree with Laukkanen's statement that "in the discourse of identity, humans are born to be heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual. Sexual identity is understood to be singular and permanent. One can hide it but one cannot chose or change it,"? What is the diffenece between sex and gendar and how we use these terms to describe ourselves?

6/15 Readings

1. Why do you think that Gays and Lesbians are such a marketable group to target in advertising, according to a quote in the Sender article, "We market to Gays and Lesbians for business reasons, because we want to sell our products to consumers." Do you think that this specific group of people are more likely to buy the highend products?

2. What are homerotic images and how do advertisement and marketing agencies use them for both gay males and straight males?

3. In the article it states that targeting gay or lesbians through marketing can be seen as a double edged sword, why is that, and do you agree?


1. What are some examples in which certain brands have used underlying subtexts to reach homosexual audiences? What was the subtext?

2. Do you think that by representing lesbians as "lipstick" lesbians is completely effective in accomplishing the goal of reaching a lesbian audience?


1. The reading talks about the Demi website, which is for the popular girl's Finnish magazine, and has you select a sex upon registration to the site. Why is the default setting male when the site is for a popular female magazine?

2. The reading addresses the parodic discourse. What is this exactly?

6/15 Readings

Selling Sexual Subjectives

1.) Do you think the marketers are gay/lesbian or straight?

2.) Why is the fantasy of two girls together appealing to straight men, but usually two men together is not appealing to straight women?

Young Queers Online

1.) What more specifically are the 3 dimensions?

2.) What other identity characteristics not discussed in the article do you think people use as self representation, if any?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Readings Due 6-15-09

1.) I was a little confused about the users ‘body’. How are the 3 social dimensions used exactly?
2.) WAhat are the differences between Demi and the #closet?

1.) Do you believe that homosexuals are disadvantaged? If yes, do you agree that the positive images of homosexuals portrayed through advertising perpetuates the discriminations?
2.) Why do you think homosexuals are able to recognize this hidden advertising ploy towards them?
3.) Why do you think advertisers specifically target lipstick lesbians in the category of homosexual women?

Selling Sexual Subjectivities and Young Queers Online

Katherine Sender

1. Why is a women's feminity judged in relation to the quality of other women's feminity?

2. If marketers targeted lipstick lesbians, would the target actually change to heterosexual males?

Marjo Laukkanen

1. What are the 3 social dimensions of the user's body and how might these affect online user interaction?

2. Why do you think there is a separate forum (closet) on Demi's website? What has it allowed users to do?

Readings for Monday 6/15

Sender, Selling Sexual Subjectivities

1.) Is there really any way to create a disctinction of ads targeting homosexuals versus heterosexuals?

2.) Does anyone agree with Clark when he suggests that gay codings are invisible to heterosexuals?

Laukkanen, Young Queers Online

1.) In the beginning of the article, the author discusses how quick these users are put into a category based on their sex. Doesn't this remind you of how quick people attatch a sex to newborns? The first people ask is whether it's a boy or a girl (as if that's the most important characteristic of the baby)

2.) Isn't is horrible that, in Finlad, homosexuality was a crime before '71 and considered a disease before '81?

Readings due 6/15

Selling Sexual Subjectives:
1. When you look at an advertisment, isn't it more about desire and appeal than anything do to with the subject's sexual orientation?

2. Do you think homosexuals pick up more on subtile advertisting subtexts than heterosexuals do?

Queers Online

1. Do you think some homosexuals have a problem stating their gender on registration forms? Why?

2. Do you think the author's publication of her observations was ethically questionable? Or is it ok to publish observations because the chat room was a public forum?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Gendered Readings

1. Why do you think men versus women talk more about jobs and less about their personal life like their family and children?

2. What is it about tabloids that grabs your attention, and why have they become such a heavy influence in some of women's daily lives?

Video Games:

1. Why would you lie about playing video games in Sarah's case in this article, what is the point and what would she get out of it?

2. In the case of Rach and Robert, why do women feel the need to dumb themselves down when playing video games?

Readings due 6/11


1. Do girls have shorter attention spans when it comes to gaming because girls are usually less competitive by nature?

2. Many of the interviewees stated that they never play games solo, because gaming is a social activity. Do you think they are telling the truth? For true gamers it can be an addiction, and they must play alone from time to time. Why do you think they lie about it?


1. According to the respondents reasons for reading tabloids, do you think they are so popular because they have something for every interest?

2. One respondent stated that tabloids, "your stories are short enough to keep interest and long enough to get the point across." Did Bird right this article with that statement in mind? The way she described each letter in a short, to the point, manor kept my attention much more than if the descriptions were extremely lengthy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Readings Due 6-11-09

Thornham- Gaming, Gender & Geeks
1.) Thornham refers to this study as an ethnographic “investigation”, is this somehow different from the other ethnographic research we have read about?
2.) The article discussed ‘normal’ and ‘geek’ players, but what about people like Sara who admitted to playing, but was accused of never having played a game, or Bob who swears he never plays alone, but roommates and friends said he does? Are there categories that these people fall into?
3.) Along with the last question, what do you think the reason is for lying about how often or with whom someone plays with?

Bird- Gendered Readings
1.) When explaining the differences between why men and women read tabloids, the article stated, “women use the tabloids to negotiate their personal world””, what exactly does that mean?
2.) It is mentioned that tabloids are not gender specific in whom their audience is, however I have always felt that it was less accepted by our society for males to read them. Do you agree with this?

Readings due 6/11//09

1.) How much of the difference in readings for tabloids between men and women is nature and how much is nurture?

2.) Bird speaks of the "melodramatic imagination" when concluding this reading. If a male/female lead a very exciting life and definitely not a "meaningless" one, do they have different attitudes towards tabloid?

1.) Would "geek gamers" who neglect real lives, enjoy solo gaming when connected to other gamers (live playing), thus creating a "social life" within the game world?

2.) Would you agree that gender plays a role for gamers similar to the way gender plays a row for sports fans?

Gendered Readings

1. Compare and contrast the ways in which men and women read tabloids and what kind of information they gain from them?

2. It's a fairly common idea that men do not gossip (minimally, if anything) and do not want to be stereotyped as those who do since its something that is generally applied to women. However, on page 147, there is the story of the 69 year old man who said that so many people in the area read tabloids and pass them around which inevitably leads to small conversation/gossip but then he was also quick to point out that he only does so because he had time on his hands to "waste" since he was retired. Do you think that men gossip more than they are willing to admit?

**The second question is in reference to something I experienced a few days ago at work. There is usually a wide variety of magazines and newspapers for employees to read (Journal Sentinel, Star, National Enquirer, Auto mags, Men's Fitness, US Weekly, OK! Magazine, etc) and while I was sitting at a table of all guys, one male employee dropped off a few copies of the most current US Weekly and National Enquirer and the guys snatched them up in a second. What I noticed was that they were completely absorbed with what they were reading and began talking about the latest headlines which was the John and Kate (John and Kate Plus 8) scandal. Despite what we have read in this article, I think it's fair to say that men can be just as enveloped with celebrity gossip as women are but may not engage in it quite as often as their female counterparts.

Gaming, Gender, and Geeks

1. In the reading, Thornham discusses gaming and "actual" gameplay. She says that assumptions about gaming frame game choices, bleeding into actual play (129). What is the difference between them exactly?

2. Why do you feel that certain gamers refrain from talking about their gaming habits truthfully, even when others are aware of their gaming habits? What are they trying to hide?

Gendered Readings for 6/11

1. Gilligan said "women's place in man's life cycle has been that of a nurturer, caretaker and helpmate, the weaver of those networks of relationships on which she in turn relies." Do you agree with this view? Do you feel that men's views on women have changed?

2. The reading states that a central male reading strategy seems to be positioning of tabloids as "news" or "information" that helps them find out about the world outside them (144). I feel that this could be an excuse. If men were seeking news and information, would you think they would look to more reliable sources?

Gaming, Gender, and Geeks

1. What is the difference between "normal" gamers and "geek" gamers? What are the benefits to being a "normal" gamer and a "geek" gamer? What are some stereotypes that we associate with both types of gamers?

2. Why do you think that sexuality is questioned when it comes to "geek" gamers? Is it not enough for one to have the technological intellect to excel as a "geek" gamer and instead becomes a threat to heteronormative activity?


I just wanted to use this quote, because it was my favorite in the article, I have no question for it but I thought it was something to think about, it's both sad and happy.
"She likes stories with happy endings. She describes herself: I am a giver. I think the world is made up with two types of people, givers and takers. There are more takers than givers. I come from a family of takers, I've raised a family of takers. My husband is a taker so I decided to give so people can be happy." Great quote.....

Anyways...Back to tabloids...

I find it interesting how Bird says that men and women read and get different things from tabloids. For instance she says, men to to develop a sense of autonomy and an awareness of the importance of abstract principles, and women tend to produce an attitude that values interpersonal relationships and places most importance on how events effect people. From your gender, what do you find interesting in the magazines and how does that relate to what Bird was saying about specific genders finding specific things in tabloids to read?

2. Are you a tabloid reader, and would you find yourself among the lonely or the happy, does it affect how you connect to the tabloids, and why do you read the tabloids, is our society obssessed with so many other's lives specifically, what do you get from them. I am a tabloid reader, and I am and I guess I read them because I feel connected with the Hollywood, however that is so not the case, so then I ask myself and you why do I (you) read the tabloids, consider Bird's article when evaluating this.

3. Why do we associated ourselves with tabloids like the Enquirer, when we so clearly know that many of those stories are fake and completely inaccurate, is it a source of comedy, something to read, or actually really interesting, why???

4. Are tabloids solely directed a single genre, men vs. women, if you say women why do you think tabloids are so associated with them, or if you think specific tabloids are targeted towards men, again why? Is it more of a norm for a women to read a tabloid then a male, AND is that because this is how our society sees this?

Gender Identity and Video Games

1.This was an interesting study. The thing that caught my eye in this research study was when she was talking about the girl Lorna, "Her description of gameplay also subtly realigns her with the women/less competent gamers in the room mimicking joe's instruction as quite
patronising "(p.131). This was quite funny to me, because it kind of shows how not only men can become competitive an know-it-all's when they play sports, but that women have a side that comes over them as well. My question is do you believe that gender truly decides on how one will interact with a game, or is it simply one's personality?

2. Considering Thornham's take on Gender preference towards gaming, think of the video games you play, or played as a kid, do you think they were gender neutral, or rather gender specific. Does gender preference altar how one perceives the game they are a shooting game for boys will a girl think it's dumb because it is targeted towards men?

3. Accordidng to Thornham what are the subgroups of their names and how is each group perceived?

Tabloids & Video Games


"Gossip facilitates audience participation and feelings of closeness with both the stars and the characters they portray." Does this mean that celebrities feel closer to their audience through news stories. Also, do readers feel closer to the stars because of the tabloids, even though they know most of it is false?

Do people bond with one another over celebrity gossip? Yesterday we learned that people develop relationships by telling stories about themselves, so is this 'closeness' just artificial?

Video Games

Are girls conditioned to not like video games?

Do boys not want girls to play video games, or do girls not like playing video games with boys?

What does the author mean when he states, "masculinity continues to be performed within such set, rigid, and confining parameters." Is this why homosexuals get ridiculed so often- boys just trying to perform masculinity?

"These comments not only suggest that genre or gaming claims seem primarily integration techniques; they also suggest that the normative gaming subjectivity is socially and culturally defined as a predominantly masculine one." Culture has defined gaming as masculine, is this because the video games are produced mostly by males, or they are mostly marketed toward males?

Gender and Media Audiences

Readings for 6/10/09

Thornham responses:

1) The stereotype which this article plays off of is boys play video games, and this community is theirs to reign. What I find interesting is a section on page 131 gives an instance where the girl Lorna was leaning to play a specific game. Joe did not hesitate to give her instructions, or explain the object of the game, and even gave praise when she did well. Does this example give us a better insight towards the opposing theory that boys do not believe girls can not play or play with them, but they just want someone to play with?

2) Thornham argues a couple points on page 136. Owning consoles works as a basis for "rational financial motivation and social functions." In Joe's and Duncan's instances, they stated the social aspect of "keeping in touch with a group on a common topic," is one of the main reasons they enjoy gaming. With this in mind, why do adults and parents find gaming to be a step backwards in their sons' social and communication skills? It seems obvious that these boys understand how to find people who enjoy similar aspects. Why do video games seem so taboo in the eyes of the worried parent?

Bird Responses:

1) The beginning portion of Bird's article focuses on women's responses towards tabloid writing. Many stated their relationships, physical appearances and what they like/dislike about their lives. In one instance Bird argues that she felt many women write this way not because the one question from the tabloid asked them too, but because they do not get to discuss these things out side of the written medium. If these women are so grateful and excited to be given the chance to voice their thoughts, what is it about the written word, in this case tabloids, give women a sense of empowerment and the feeling they can express what they have been possible suppressing? What is it about the unknown reader which gives these women a sense of security and powerful voice?

2) On page 152 Bird states, "a cultural perception that interest in celebrity 'gossip' is a female vice- men may share the interest, but to discuss it, is just not 'done." Before this states, Bird gives us an instance where some men are very passionate about celebrity stories, or how they label them as, 'Who Cares" stories. If many men feel this way, according to Bird, then how come men are apprehensive to engage in 'gossip?' I understand the macho appearance men want to maintain, or the feminine stereotype which comes along with 'gossiping,' but if everyone is participating, what is the unseen force stopping men from discussing these topics which, from this research, they are interested in?

Readings due 6-10

1.) When users use one of the five strategies for self-presentation do you think people ever exaggerate or lie about the qualities they are trying to portray and possibly begin to actually believe it?
2.) On page 26 Bortree says “female bloggers were more likely than male bloggers to share intimate details about themselves, including feelings of vulnerability and affection”. Do you believe this happens only on blogs or is a part of all communication with females?
1.) The article gives the reasons as to why the females tend to use chat rooms and lie about their self images because they lack the feelings that relationships give in their real life. Do you think the males have the same reasoning?
2.) The article also mentioned that males considerably outnumbered females in these chat rooms. What do you think the reason is for that?1.) The article gives the reasons as to why the females tend to use chat rooms and lie about their self images because they lack the feelings that relationships give in their real life. Do you think the males have the same reasoning?

Readings Due 6/10


1. Is blogging hurting or helping the way in which teens are communicating? On one side it is good that they can express their feelings that they don't feel comfortable doing face to face with someone, but on the other hand they always have the choice to hide behind a screen instead of interacting with others which could cause probelms from them down the road.

2. Teens today are bloging to feel cool and a sense of belonging but what they don't understand is how public their blogs can be. Are blogs going to become a way for parents/teachers/employers to check what type of person they are? Could this have negative consequenes for them?


1. When the teens are asking the age/sex question through chat rooms, it is so common for people to lie to engage in the conversations they are looking for. Should there be some sort of block on these chat rooms so convicted sexual predators cannot log on?

2. With all the technological advances such as IM, blogs, chat rooms, text messaging, emailing, and social networking sites - How is the next generation of children who grow up with this form of technology going to interact with one another face to face? If they are overwhelmed with the option to "message" someone oposed to talk to their face, is anyone really going to TALK anymore?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dating on the Net

1. Clark points out that girls change their appearance to achieve more social power, and states "that teens are not redefining standards of acceptability based on beauty but are using the Net to actively construct what they believe is a more socially acceptable version of themselves," (p. 168) What exactly does she mean by this and do you agree?

2. In relation to the issue going on with sexting, do you think that this new form of Internet dating and cyber intimacy become more or less of a concern for teen sex and pregnancy, or because of the lack of physical relations has this tool become a safer way for teens to express their sexual drives especially at a young age? Do you think that the Internet can become the next tool in advocating safe sex, or abstinence because they are getting that fulfilment through words?

Presentation of self on the web

1. Bortree listed five different strategies for self-presentation on the web: ingratiation, competence, intimidation, exemplification, and supplication. Knowing that most or all of us are on Facebook or MySpace, can you think of example of these strategies that you see daily that others use on the web? Do you think that it is all intentional or do you think that the use of some of these strategies is almost subconscious; think about your own profile and if the comments you make about yourself fit any of these?

2. Bortree also discusses the different relationship effects of the web. Do you think after reading his article that blogging for teens has more positive effects such as becoming close to your friends, or more negative effects such as cyber pest? Also is too much disclosure a bad or good thing, and does it really depend of who you are disclosing your information too? (your own friends might not like it)

A whole bunch of questions | Online dating & Blogging

Why do people, more specifically, act more aggressive on the Internet?
Why do boys express sexuality textually more then women?
Does it matter that people lie about their looks on the Internet?
If teens don’t plan on meeting in person, why do they lie about their looks?
Is there a problem with this self-objectivity?
Would people still lie if they planned on meeting?
If “Girls feel empowered through the power of self-presentation” does this translate to modeling and pornography?
If the teen boys know the girls lie about their looks on the Internet, why do they ask?
If “the Internet allows for more egalitarian exchange freed from most of the restraint of peer approval” then does this apply to Myspace and Facebook?
What are some socially accepted versions of yourselves?
Is lying about your looks, or your online social presence identity voyeurism or self-discovery?
What is so attractive about the amenity of the Internet?
Why are teens so frightened of homosexuality? Or being called a homosexual?
Are teen chat rooms preventing teen pregnancy & std transmission?
Are teen chat rooms really harmless? (minus creepy online stalkers)
Are teenagers growing up faster because they have more media to experience autonomy?
What is the ‘pure’ relationship the author refers to?
What are the teens getting in return from online dating? (self-gratification)
How are they achieving self-gratification through online dating?
How have relationships changed from the past?
Does mystery equal fun in online dating?
Is online dating selfish?
Is online dating really egalitarian as the author suggests?
Does online dating really remove denial?
Will non-commitment of online dating have long term effects on this generation?

Is blogging a valid means to express one’s identity?
Why do you suppose most blogs are written by girls?
What are the dangers of self-expression through blogging?
How do people balance interpersonal communication and mass communication through blogging?

Dating on the Net

1. Males far outnumber females in teen chat rooms. What are the reasons for this? Also, the articles states how girls have a tendency to adopt a new physical personae and are more outgoing and aggressive on the internet. Do you think that boys also do the same?

2. Do you think it is possible that some (not all) girls have wrongful intentions when it comes to chat rooms and that they could either directly or indirectly be using it for harm? For example, what do you think about the situation described by Elizabeth on pp 165-166 that created a potentially embarrassing situation for the boys who believed they were having cybersex with noone actually on the receiving end? The article states that, "...the boys were objectified as the story became a shared experience of female triumph among the girlfriends."

Readings due 6/10/09


1.) Bortree list five strategies used in webblogs and online networking sites that explore the different ways a person influences the way viewer's perceive them. Can a combination/mixing of ingratiation, competence, intimination, exemplification, and supplication affect the viewer's perception of the owner's idenity in a postive or negative way, or cause confusion?

2.) Why do females tend to share more feelings of vunerability and affection than males and is this the same in all cultures?


1.) Does the concept of "pure relationships" filter into teen texting and facebooking today?

2.) If voluntary committment and individual gratification are central roles in internet dating/chat rooms, are participants likely to be jaded by these past experiences somewhere down the road?

Age and Media Audiences

Postings for 6/10/09

Bortree responses:

1) One of the main reasons this study was conducted was to find the "challenges and hazards of conducting interpersonal communication in a mas medium," (pg. 25,). In one instance, Bortree found a girl had abandoned her blog after being sent a disturbing email where a user threatened to 'cyber rate' her friends, (pg. 32,). I would consider this to be a hazard when trying to communicate in this medium, but for some reason Bortree assumes many bloggers after abandoning their blog will start a new one in a different location. If this is true, why do the users of this medium continue to post when disgusting, attention thrivers post such nonsense? No doubt this will happen again. If this particular study wanted to focus on the hazards of communication, why is this assumption not followed up with study? How has blogging become so addictive that teenage girls will continue even after being sexually assaulted, and how do they interpret these types of messages?

2) Bortree states in the beginning of this article that the most used type of self-presentation is Ingratiation, (pg. 26,). Later in the article Bortree argues the best way to understand the blogging community is to focus on sub-groups. Because sub-groups are a connection of well known participants towards each other, why is ingratiation used to present oneself if who your blogging with you already know? How are we to understand the interpersonal relationships in the blogging community if its participants put on a mask for all to interpret, but confide and post towards people they already know and have personal relationships with?

Clark responses:

1) Clark found that girls when describing their physical appearance, "described their looks in such a way to appear more attractive to the males," (pg. 166). He state this maneuver gives the girls more power in the cyber relationship because they do not set themselves up for rejection based solely on the assumption that attractive girls are found more interesting to males. Thus, the relationship can focus on other things besides the physical appearance. Because self-presentation on the Internet can be altered in any way, how do girls overcome this false-truth once dating in the physical world becomes a priority? Does this type of interaction give impressionable and immature girls and boys a false sense of reality on how physical interactions occur?

2) A section in Clarks article explains how the girls who participate in online dating think their parents would react to this situation. This section gives specific examples from their girls' reactions. Because our class focused many discussions on parents thoughts of their children using television, what are the reactions towards the Internet? There are less ways to monitor children's actions on the Internet because it is such a wide and varied source of interaction. Is this reason a main source for why kids enjoy online dating?

Teenage Girls Weblogs

1. On page 34, one of the girls in the study said, "...teenagers tend to blog because they are trying to put out this image that they are cool. I for one, don't really care about how people online see me. They are my thoughts, and what I have accomplished the day or weekend prior. If people want to take my thoughts and judge me on them, that's their decision." I understand her point of view and that there truly is a conflict of presenting self to two audiences (friends and strangers) however, do you think that teenage girls are suited to deal with the consequences that may surface should another user have conflicts with what the author has posted? Would it be better for the blogger to post more personal/private information in a journal instead of an online journal?

2. There were 5 strategies for self-presentation listed in the reading? What are they and what are the 3 strategies used by teens in order to gain acceptance in the larger context of acquaintances? How are the use of these strategies exemplified in their blogs?

Monday, June 8, 2009


1.) Can sheltering your child from television completely be just as harmful as letting children watch too much TV?

2.) How much does financial security with the parents/family impact television viewing/time spent with a child?

1.) Why do you think Jean was liberal with the amount/type of TV programs children watched at the daycare, but was very strict with the amount/type of TV programs her children watched at home?

2.) By being so strict with television viewing and not allowing the children to discuss a program or wear anything that advertises a show, does it hinder communication development of a child when they interact with peers?

1.) Does Barbie really have the power to make girls think of themselves as sex partners instead of mothers? Or does Barbie (and the different kinds, like Doctor Barbie) show girls that it is okay to have a career and not just be a mother?

2.) Why don't they communicate with the children to make the 'negatives' a positive instead of shutting out opposing ideas all together?

Daycare and Media

In Chapter 3, is the researcher suggesting that including males in a focus group taints the validity of the comments made by respondents because the attempts to dominate the discussion?

It was interesting to find how much media studies have benefited women’s voices. It seems that most media studies prefer to separate men and women when studying different topics because there are major differences when the group is made up of men and women. Researchers suggest a focus group consisting of all women is much more credible then when a male is added to the mix. Researchers have given women a voice in the media because of this type of research.

In Chapter 4, the research topic is about children media audiences. Some preschools do not allow any discourse or expression of media in school because it hinders the child’s development. I don’t necessarily agree, however, it is an interesting approach to raising children. Is there any empirical evidence that shows how much children are influenced by media that the teachers use to prove this is the best method in raising children.

Is there a national standard on day care? Are there standards on how much television and media are allowed in classroom discourse?

Readings 6/8

Seiter Chapter 3

1. If the researcher discussed her observaioins and findings with the women in the study would that change the way they interacted with her because they know they are being watched?

2. Parents worry about the amount of TV their children watch, but are the parents that cut off TV completely sheltering their children from a huge part of society and creative expression?

Seither Chapter 4

1. Why is children viewing TV considered bad babyshitting even if the program is educational?

2. Sara has a great deal invested in her identity as a professional teacher, yet she is uneducated about eduvational children programs? In todays day and age with technology being an important tool in the classroom, shouldn't an educater have knowledge of such media?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Chapter 5

1. There seems to be a contradictions within these fundamentalist women about what exactly is okay and what is for sure not okay for children to watch. For example the issue one woman had about magic on Barney being negative but the magic on the Sward and the Stone to be cute. Where do you think these women draw the line at for being considered wrong or right when it comes to these contradictions of media representations? Can you think of any other media representations other then magic that these women might have contradictions about? (ex: variations of love)

2. The author talks about how many of these women found that they could gain more respectability when being involved in their church and their involvement would be considered more prestigious then other jobs they would qualify for outside of church. Do you think that this high level of respectability has caused these women to view their parenting restrictions of the media and teaching activities to be better then the other parents? This in the end causing them to be bias to any other parenting/teaching ideas other then theirs?

Readings due Monday 6-8

Chapter 3
1.) Do you believe there is a correlation between the economic status and the women’s feelings on television?
2.) Why do you think Laura defended television when her husband was present, but later when the group was only women, she interrogated Lesley about her personal TV viewing choices?

Chapter 4
1.) Where do you think Sara’s distain for television came, especially while growing up and having such a positive remembrance of it in her childhood?
2.) There were three primary areas of harmful media effects that were discussed through Glen’s interview, are these an actual proven part of research or his own personal beliefs?

Chapter 5
1.) Disney was discussed in this chapter as a concern due to the supernaturalism, evil, and presence of the devil. Do you think this is a common theme through all children’s movies and cartoons?
2.) A few years ago, Barbie was all over the media because people were speaking out how it was giving young girls a complex on how to look and what was beautiful. The chapter speaks of how Barbie is not suitable for young children because she is not married and only portrays thoughts of sex while another parent says his children portray a married Barbie who goes to church. Is it possible that one doll can portray a different story and if so why or how?

Chapter 5: TV Among Fundamentalist Christians

1. What are your views regarding Missy Jone’s anxieties about being a teacher and the concern about the role of Barbie dolls in children’s play? Do your views align with Missy’s or do you think that Peter Smith’s (rural, fundamentalist) critiques of Barbie are more realistic and less threatening to children?

2. How might supernatural themes in television programs and movies positively and negatively affect children’s perceptions? What are the concerns of fundamentalist providers concerning the supernatural in child’s play?

Chapter 4: Lay Theories of Media Effects

1. At the Montessori Pre-school, Sara forbids showing any type of media that does not serve an educational purpose. She even excludes Disney feature films and shows such as Sesame Street that we may normally deem appropriate for children’s viewing. Do you think that because of these bans, children are not receiving an accurate or realistic view of the world? How might these restrictions alter a child’s perception of reality?

2. On page 64, Seiter states that Sara has stiff rules in regard to her feelings about television. These include: “No talk about television on the playground, no television play, conversations with her about television programmes are discouraged, clothing with media characters are not allowed because they distract children.” Do you find this to be a bit extreme or do you think Sara is doing the right thing in order to protect the children and the negative effects that television may impose upon them?

readings for 6/8

Ch. 3

1. When Laura feels that the elimination of television from her child's life will be beneficial for them. I feel that this idea is near to impossible to accomplish. Will sheltering a child from such a popular form of media actually be beneficial? Or will it lead to ignorance?

2. Laura openly expressed her distaste in using the television as a babysitter. Others did admit to often using the tv as a babysitter. The others may have taken offense. Do you feel that this would influence the outcome of the discussion? I feel that others would be less likely to express their true experiences with television amongst the group.

Ch. 4
1. Furnham addresses the fact that certain problems can occur during interviews, such as bias, and untruthfulness. In an attempt to avoid this, She opened the interview by stating her own theories of media effects. Do you think this is effective in diminishing bias and untruthful answers from the subjects?

2. The reading talks about jobs that are mostly filled by females, and that they feel that prestige makes up for low compensation. Do you agree with this idea?

Ch. 5
1. In this reading, it states that out of the evangical movement has grown contemporary Christian fundamentalism. What is Christian fundamentalism exactly?

2. When the modern day Ken is being described as homosexual due to the clothes that he wears. Do you find this to be ignorant? How do you think the media has effected the way that this popular toy is dressed and represented? What message is the toy trying to convey to children?

Chapter 3: Feminist Methods

1. We have mentioned several times in class how critical we can be of certain television programs and how our views of television in general can also be contradicting. I think that Lesley has good intentions with her daughter Kelly’s viewing habits but do you agree that she is almost a bit too hypocritical being that she has extremely negative views of television yet openly admits that it is something she very much likes to do?

2. In addition to question one, how would you describe your own personal television viewing habits? What are your views of television in accordance with their influence on children? Do you feel that you make contradictory statements about television on a regular basis?

Readings for Thursday 6/11

Thornham, It's a Boy Thing

1.) On page 7, the author inputs different quotes from women from different households. They all describe how gaming is a 'boy thing' and is more considered acceptable for males. Why is there this gendered stereotype of gaming? If a girl wants to and enjoys playing videogames why does there have to be negative connotations associated with this action?

2.) On page 10, the author described the males' actions while playing the game, such as jumping around and hugging those who were near. Isn't it crazy how some people get so into these games that they actually get so excited they are jumping around and almost can't even control their actions?

Bird, Gendered Readings

1.) On page 10, one man described his motive for reading tabloids to "keep his mind working-reading is the best way to keep your mind active." Doesn't it seem like a cop-out? I think he was somewhat shy on the notion that he enjoys reading tabloids and didn't want to be considered a "gossip", because to "keep his mind working and active" doesn't mean he has to read tabloids. He could read anything (book, newspaper, ect) to accomplish this need.

2.) Isn't is funny how these people are so embarrassed of being judged as "gossipers" because they enjoy to read tabloids, that they even skirt around or embelesh their true reasons for doing so?

Readings for Wednesday 6/10

Bortree, Presentation of Self on the Web

1. After reading this article and realizing this researcher was reading their every word, isn't is almost scary to think that anything you type or put on the web can be viewed by almost anyone and interpreted in anyway they see fit? I understand the whole purpose of doing so, is for others to see, but what about those you don't want to have access to it?

2.) "One girl said, ‘I get to know peoples [sic] opinions and thoughts on things u [sic] usually wouldn’t hear.’ A number of the girls in the interviews said that they and their friends write aboutfeelings that they would not talk about otherwise" (9). Isn't it sad how these girls can't or don't feel comfortable sharing their feelings that their only escape is to share them by posting to a blog?

Clark, Dating on the Net

1.) On page nine, the author describes Elizabeth's encounter with an interested male: "...unwanted sexual advances were not only rebuffed but resulted in Elizabeth's creation of a potentially embarrassing situation for the boys they may have found themselves talking (or masturbating?) without an audience." Gross?!? Is anyone else somewhat disturbed by this whole online "relationships" interaction with impressionable, naiive teens?

2.) On page 10, the author describes how some girls lie about their physical appearance and Michael gives his personal insight on the topic. Does anyone else find it sad that these girls are lying about their physical appearance based on their low self esteem or a fear of rejection?

Readings for Monday 6/8

Seiter, Chapter 3

1.) When the researcher becomes so close with his/her subjects, can they truley be objective in their study?

2.) "Lesley offered up an extremely negative opinion of television viewing as an addiction, as a mindless, passive activity-and was simultaneously very frank about television viewing being something she very much likes to do" (39). Isn't is funny how we can be so critical of something, like lesley is with television, but still participates in this same activity she is speaks so negatively about?

Seiter, Chapter 4

1.) I can understand this school banning these popular videos and films from the classroom, but doesn't it seem that forbidding any talk or play of such might be a little too controlling over these children?

2.) I like that fact that the Montessori school requires parents to attend a meeting before the school year begins and is really involved in the children's lives as well as keeps close contact with the parents. Does anyone else agree that this type of involvement should really be implemented in other educational institutions greatly benefiting the children?

Seiter, Chaper 5

1.) "In the latest version, he wears symbolic jewelery, including a necklace of rings and articles of clothing that hint at his 'sexual preference". He might not be into Barbie at all, if you know what I mean" (93). So, are they saying a person's clothing and accessories make up their sexual orientation? (ridiculous) I don't think this is a statement anyone should offer as a teaching to others.

2.) A couple times throughout this chapter, the idea was brought up of how easily it was to turn to television as entertainment, especially when times are hard and incomes are low. "...because incomes were low, most people were house-bound with little but TV to turn to for recreation" (103). How do they draw the line which television programs are suitable and which are inappropriate when they are put in a position to find a cheap form of entertainment?

Seiter Chapter 5

1.Seiter’s chapter 5 was a little difficult for me to read. When talking about the idea of Christianity in the home and the influence it has on what they watch, like an Episode of Roseanne, I didn’t understand how such content as masturbation or a lesbian in a bar could really commit someone to not watching the show anymore. Does the portrayal of sexual content truly impact whether someone watches a show or not, like it so clearly did in this research? Should we consider the fact it was a mother watching Roseanne? Had it been the father, would the reaction to sex in the show receive a different response? How big of a role does the fact that these women are highly Christian impact the way they understand and watch the shows that have sexual situations in their programs?

2.I think in this study it is essential to understand the role of fundamentalism. What does it mean, and what is different about it from charismaticism?

Seiter Chapter 4

1.In chapter four, it seems Seiter had a much more difficult time hiding her opinions in this research. Do you think that while conducting a research it is better to be just a watcher of the group you are studying, or to convey your opinions along with the others in the study. In this study Seiter said that she felt comfortable talking about her ideas with the people she agreed with, but no so much with those had different ideas and opinions then she did. Can that harm the result of the research?

2.One participant in this study, Glen is very outspoken about the sell and use of fake guns. The idea that they even sell fake guns that look like machine gun make him upset. He connects the way media portrays violence also to the idea that consumerism is getting out of control. Do you think that the way the media portrays anything violence, clothes can impact whether or not a parent will buy it for their kid. Does the idea of consumerism really rely on the media, and are parents so afraid of tantrums these days that they give the kids what they want, fake guns and all? Are we really desensitized to violence because of the way the media portrays it?

Seiter Chapter 3

1. In Chapter Three’s Research, one family, Ron and Carla view TV as a learning tool and means of intelligence with their son Doug and commend him when he communicates a toy he wants by seeing it on commercials. The other parent, Leslie feels that TV can have a negative impact on her child and therefore she attempts to cut television out of her own life, as well as trying to get Kelly to be active with her mind rather then become a TV zombie. I thought the differences in these two families and their views were very interesting. Each of the family has two different types of financial status, one upper class and one middle class. Carla can afford to be a stay at home mom and Lesley can’t. Does this affect the way a child can comprehend television, and thus the real world. Is Lesley being to cautious with her child and watch television?

2.Then there is the school teacher Laura who completely wants to remove television from her child’s life because she believes there are “terrible effects of television.”
There is a conversation between Laura, Carla, and Ed and the idea of watching Sesame Street. Laura feels guilty for allowing her child to watch the show, and her husband Ed feels like television is passive and thus would rather have his child go to the park with him. My question is, is television really passive for children, especially Sesame Street where there is interactivity portrayed in the show like counting and learning the alphabet, or even shows now, like Dora the Explorer. Is all television bad for children, or are there exceptions?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Readings due 6-4-09

Menace II Society
1.) It was mentioned that social class was an important mediating factor on Caryon’s actions, but that media also played a role. Do you think media really changed the outcome of thieving, drug-selling child, to possibly not end up in jail?
2.) Caryon mentioned multiples times that he felt a connection or understanding of the characters in the media, he viewed, but that he was not trying to act out a scene from the movie when he and his friends acted out the scene. What would push someone to do this, if it was not to reenact the scene?
3.) If in fact media does have a large effect on people involved in the ‘thug life’ such as Caryon, do you believe that the actors that play these roles such as Denzel Washington have a societal or moral obligation to re-think accepting future roles?

Wrestling with the Web
1.) I was very confused as to the fact that these children were young, still in elementary school and were using school computers to check this website daily. If this type of media could cause potential negative effects or behavior on the kids, why weren’t the website blocked?
2.) On page 71 when mentioning interviews with the Latina girls, it said that the girls would sometimes watch wrestling with their fathers or brothers, but their mothers did not approve. Do you think this was a gender stereotype and that the mothers did not approve of the daughters watching, but the sons were allowed?

Readings for Thursday 6/4

Seiter, "Wrestling with the web: Latino Fans and Symbolic Violence"

1.) When Hunter is interviewing the boys, in the beginning of the reading, the boys are insistant on the fact that wrestling originated in Mexico. Could this be an example of these boys, within this culture, showing a sense of ownership over this activity, like what we were talking about in class today?

2.) During the interview, Hunter and the kids are talking about wrestlers getting hurt and the kids are amazed at the fact how quick these "hurt" wrestlers get back into the action. Especially when they are talking about one wrestler still wrestling while hurt, they get super excited. Isn't it crazy how these kids glorify these wrestlers and put them on a predistal?

Means Coleman, "The Menace to Society copycat murder case and thug life: A reception study with a convicted criminal"

1.) Because this violent crime occured after they watched this violent movie, everyone is quick to blame the media. Then, How can you explain everyone else watching this same film and NOT commiting any violent actions or criminal acts?

2.) I agree with the point made about there being an overwhelming amount of violent movies having an african-american focus. Does anyone else agree that this only perpetuates stereotypes already present in society?

6/4/2009 Readings

Seiter, “Wrestling with the Web: Latino Fans and Symbolic Violence”

1. It was interesting to see in this research that the boys, Edwin and Andres loved wrestling, but professional wrestling only, when a helper of from one of the researchers college class seminars came to interact with the boys he told them about his Greco-Roman wrestling, the boys were clearly not interested in this. My question is, do the boys know that in the WWE that this wrestling if fake, would that impact their interest and passion for writing about it if they knew it was? What kind of reactions would we get from the young boys, and then would the interaction between Edwin, Andres and the college student Hunter be completely different, or would their passion for WWE stay the same and lack of interest for the other wrestling stay the same as well?

1. The idea that the “fake” stuff was more interesting to this group of boys was a little disturbing, does the way the media portrays wrestling have an affect on violence of younger kids in today’s America, like back then it was WWE that kids acted out stuff from, but now is it violent video games that could cause kids to act out violently, what does the impact of media, specifically things geared towards young boys have on them?

Coleman: The Menace II Society copycat murder case and thug life:

1. Throughout this research how does Coleman use his three discussed themes, masculinity, viewing style, and desired representation?

2. Do you think that if Coleman hadn’t gained one of the most important things to have in an ethnography study, or any research, trust from or be truthful towards Caryon this research would have failed? Think of the ideas of trust in previous readings, and what it really meant in this particular research as well. How did Coleman secure Caryon’s trust?

June 4th Readings

Wrestling with the Web

I like this longitudinal ethnographic study of Latino boys and the WWF because it is a comprehensive and in-depth look at the children's involvement in media, however, I feel it may be lacking in some sort of qualitative testing data that proves this method of teaching the boys is beneficial.

"Writing was not so much an expression medium for individual souls as a tool for beings whose major concerns were not learning to write." When the author quotes Anne Hass Dyson, I believe he is saying the class curriculum, which was writing about wrestling, was about how the students use language to develop power and identity. Is this correct?

Thug Life

This study dives too far into the mind of a drug induced 12 year old. I cannot fathom how young Caryon "cannot help but focus on the thug, even as it castigates him." How did the researcher determine this, that his only personal representation in the media was the 'thug' role?

"Caryon was able to identify similarities between the self and stars' depiction of the thug lifestyle, or the thug lifestyle that some stars came to live. His close reading of stars/thug life helped Caryon to recognized differences, such as evolving masculine identities and desires (power and dominance) yet to be fulfilled." This is another place where I wonder how the researcher came to these conclusions. How intensive was the interviewing process?

Menace II Society and Wrestling with the Web

Menace to Society

1. It is clear that the media plays a dominant role in Caryon's life but what do you think has a greater negative impact of Caryon's behavior and the choices he made in life? Is the media more to blame or is a lack of family, discipline, and stable home life the culprit?

2. Caryon aligns his life closely with those in the movie Menace II Society because he has experienced the life of a thug. He feels their pain because he has been there, he's done that; he understands it. However, would you agree that because life may have dealt him a bad hand, it does not necessarily mean that he has to continue down the road of reckless behavior? Do you think he unconsciously blames the media for his choices?

Wrestling with the Web

1. We talked about a sense of ownership during class discussion. How do Edwin and Andres claim a type of ownership in relation to wrestling?

2. On page 82, it says, "While the media panic about wrestling is always framed in terms of the promotion of violence, the boys who followed it most avidly were also the ones who never got in school fights, never pushed and shoved, never knocked chairs over?" What does this say then about children's perceptions of wrestling and how they are influenced by it?

Readings 6/4

Wrestling with the Web

1. The artcile states that these young boys would race to the computer lab after school to watch wrestling on the web. My first thought was why aren't the schools blocking such violent content?

2. Young boys always wrestle with eachother as a form of play. If the majority of these boys think the wrestling they watch on tv is fake, whos to say that they aren't going to pick up a chair and smash it over their friends head, because "it's fake"?

Menace II Society

1. Caryon felt a connection to the main character in the movie Menace II Society. Did he commit all those crimes to keep that sense of closeness and belonging to this character? Or did he commit those crimes to live up to the "thug life" expectations?

2. With no other parental figures in Caryon's life, did the media become is only parent? With a low IQ and no one else to look up to, he resorted to the only influence he had access to.

6/4 Readings

Mean Coleman

1.) Do you believe normalized values and law and order can really be completely absent from someone's life? Even if someone lacks a stable environment, they're still see certain values take place between other people, unless they're completely secluded from society.

2.) What are other cases where media becomes the scapegoat for crimes and where issues of masculinity play a key role?


1.) Sieter states "for children, critics of wrestling are usually adults," but wouldn't it be better for adults to turn their critics into a positive- such as using wrestling to help the children develop a better understanding towards violence-?

2.)Going off of question one, how are some ways you could use a child's interest for wrestling and give them a better understanding of sex, violence, etc. by means of media outlets?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Why don't you act your color?

1. This article is based on the representation and imitation of another's color between young girls. Do you think that this same concept and study could be similar in representation between different classes not just race? For example can you think of any times when a young girl is trying to act another class level (upper class, middle class, lower class) based on the ideas of that class thought some type of media. (little girl acting like she is rich with lots of money when she isn't)

2. I find the contradiction between what kids are thought of as by other based on their interest in a particular music to be interesting. In the article Tracy talks about how the white girl is considered stuck up because she doesn't like rap or hip-hop but on the other hand if she did like it she would be told to act her own color. Will there ever be a happy medium or will kids always being trying to criticize each other's identity choices even at such a young age?

Readings Due 6/3

Women Watching Oprah -

1. This article described a very in depth ethnographic research study observing Oprah viewing in an African American hair salon. While much of the research was interesting and valid, wouldn't it be more valid if the same research was done in a mainly white salon?

2. The researcher made assumptions about how Janelle would go from conversation to the tv and back to the conversation. Isn't this what most people do while watching tv? Does this have anything to do with the hair salon environment or the media they were watching?

Why Don't you Act your Color?

1. Do these 9-11 year olds really know what they are accusing when they tell a classmate to act their color?

2. These children are so wrapped up in the lyrics of the music that they relate what they hear to their own relationships. What does this say about the media affect on young children and their view of sexual content?

Ethnography in Hair Salon

1. In the reading on the bottom of page 310, the author discusses a further study of examining the way the political content of prime-time television could structure women talk about the moral in semi public settings,such as a living-room full of friends and acquaintances. This study found that women by their own accounts and examples, did engage in public talk about political and social issues, habitually and often in public settings. Do you agree with this statement from your own personal experiences with controversial topics being brought up in a public setting through the interaction of media? Also in considering this study, do you consider a living-room to be a public setting or do you think the studies result might be different if the women were placed in more of a public setting such as a restaurant or a bar?

2. After reading this article I would have to agree with their argument in that the media does have a impact of social and political conversation in a public setting. The media gives the entail topic of conversation and as to how far in depth we go is up to those in that particular setting. Can you think of any topics that are discussed on television that would be too personal or controversial for an audience in a public setting to discuss? Would that topic be different to discuss if the gender or the setting was altered?

Readings for Wednesday 6/3

Tracy, "Why don't you act your color?"

1.) For these young girls to have this perspective of 'acting your color' doesn't it make sense that this is a learned behavior and way of thinking based on exxamples within their environment and of their role models.

2.) Because these girls are young, their naiive way of thinking and viewing the world allows the researcher to tap into their true feelings and viewpoints. Isn't is sad how on page 3, Vanecia (half-white; half-black girl) discusses how "when I am with my mom's family, I feel different than when I am with my dad's family".

Press/Johnson-Yale, Women watching Opera in an African-American hair salon

1.) I found it very interesting yet sad about the statement made on page 10. "She found that while lower-class female audience memebers thought television was unrealistic in its portrayals of women with careers and families, they were generally more accepting of television as a whole compared to their middle-class counterparts". Anyone agree?

2.) Isn' it funny that how, on page 314, when Janelle is trying to seek coverage from Hurricane Katrina, she immediately turns on Oprah (not Cnn or any other news outlet)?

Ethnography in the Hair Salon

1. On page 314, it states how the salon customers paid no attention to what was on the television screen when Judge Hatchett was on. Because the salon is a work space made more leisurely and more politically engaged by television, why do you think there was less interest to this show as opposed to Oprah? How much of a role does Oprah’s credibility play in this situation?

2. Based on my own assumptions about black hair salons and black barber shops in comparison to white hair salons, I agree that black hair salons are made more leisurely. What are additional reasons for black hair salons and barber shops as a kind of social environment where the atmosphere is more laid back and less serious in its interactions with others?

"Don't be acting our color, act your color!"

Pamela J. Tracy

1. There is a clear discrepancy between the black girls mentioned in this article as feeling quite strongly that white people should act their own color, especially in terms of the relationship between music and identities. Fights erupted between the Central girls because of the white girl’s choice to listen to “black” music and act not according to their own skin color. But in the last part of the article titled, “Gendered Allegiances” wouldn’t you agree that it is contradictory on behalf of the black girls to accept the white girls back in on the basis of making sure the boy’s music was not played?

2. Have you ever encountered a situation wherein how you identified yourself was questioned in terms of not acting what your skin color shows you to be?

Race and Media Audiences: African American Focus

Readings for 6/3/09

Press and Johnson-Yale responses:

1) Press and Johnson-Yale quote a previous study which brings up the point of when daily talk shows where becoming popular, especially Oprah. Because Oprah was a prominent force in this study, the researchers quoted another ethnographic study by saying "black working-class women can be heard and become a 'legitimate cultural subject position," (Press, Johnson-Yale, 311). Would this quote have existed if the show Oprah, or any other black female entertainment programmer, never come to be viewed in society?

2) A section in this study talked about a woman named 'Mattie' and her thoughts on the war in Iraq. Mattie stated her opinion on what soldiers should do while they are over there, and no one continued the matter further. Even though other parts of this reading suggests that much discussion and debate happens on every subject the salon presents, why was Mattie's issue dropped and not brought up again? Is there a sense of fear of offending someone who has a loved one over seas? Does this type of setting create a community in which everyone feels connected?

Tracy responses:

1) On page 47, the study referenced girls accepting media messages from 'older girls' lyrics' even though they do not understand the exact meaning- only how they should behave when heterosexual relationships come up in life. If at this age they admit to not understanding the exact media messages, when will their interpretations of similar media texts change? Will they change? How much influence does cultural trends described in media messages have on the youth which interprets the formats only on the basis of future use and assumptions?

2) Throughout this study, the researchers described what different races and ages of kids thought "acting black' meant. Was there ever a time when all sets of participants were asked if listening to a particular song or doing a particular dance move was done just for the sake of pleasure? What would the responses have been from everyone if people act the way they do because they like it?

6/3 Readings


1.) Tracy proposes that music communicates pleasure as well as racial and gender identities. If one takes pleasure in a certain type of music that is outside of the dominant racial/gender identities of what that person "should" be listening to, why has it become such a criticism towards that person?

2.) How do you think this study would have differed if the age group/race/gender were different?

Press and Johnson-Yale

1.) Again, how would this study have differed if the race/gender/setting were different?

2.) In some instances, Michelle and the other ladies held off saying things as means to be polite, -like the younger college student making a comment and Michelle saying "oh, you think so?" only to drop the subject and continue her duties- Why do you think people sometimes choose NOT to engage in debate, when it is a good opportunity to learn different viewpoints? Why have we become a nation where confrontation is such a faux pas?
1. In this reasearch, Oprah claims that she was racially dicriminated agains in a high end retail store when wanting to purchase a purse for her friends birthday. The store was closing for a private event. Do you think this is racial discrimination, or was the store simply closing, could it have been a situation where Oprah believes because she is a star that there should be special treatment? Would the response be the same if you asked one white person and one black person this question or would it be different opions if so why do you think? Because these chats are in a black salon, would the reactions differ in a white salon?

2. This is a great example of ethnography, but connecting this to chapter five, could we say that this would satisfy reliablility if conducted again with a different group of people, or even ethincity? Would it still mean the same type of research if you conducted in a white setting instead of a black setting, different responses? Why do you think that this couldn't be seen as a reliable source if you think it isn't, if you think it is why?

3. The reaction to Hurrican Katrina in this Salon "gave much needed levity to a very intense and sad time." How in this research is this unusual, this response gives a unusual take to the reaction of Hurricane Katrina, how would you feel about that response, does your color hold any reasons for how you would respond?

Readings for 6/3

Press and Johnson
1. On page 317 of this reading, it talks about a young college female who had come into the salon. It went on to state that it was out of the ordinary for Janelle to be working on a college aged girl, and that there were tensions between their point of views. Do you think this is because of the age difference?

2. This article talks about Oprah, and her experience in Paris, in which she was turned away. Oprah believed this to be because of racism. Janelle seemed to really relate and sympathize with this story. Do you think the young college girl would have felt similar to Janelle about the story?


1. The “Central Girls” listened to particular types of music because they felt that they identified personally with the lyrics or rhythms. Has that changed since we were that age? Did you identify with a certain type of music at such a young age?

2. The young girls often use the expression, “acting Black.” Why do they use this expression? Doesn’t it contribute to stereotypical assumptions?

Why Don't You Act Your Color

1. This research specifically deals with the racial problems the female gender more specifically run into when listening to music. The idea that white girl's should act their color is distributed throughout the research. Does the color of one's skin truly affect the music one can listen to?

2. Its interesting to see that one girl Kathleen is considered a snob because she doesn't listen to rap, however the black girls don't want the white girls Emily singing the music because they are acting black. Why isn't it ok to sing rap or hip hop, but you must still like it, is it really "acting black" if you try singing along?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Readings Due 6/2

Ch. 5

How do we develop triangulation? How can we step outside our own frame of thought to understand others from many different angles?

“We have to accept that all knowledge is embedded in the social world. It is always relative to a community of knowers.” This makes understanding culture and other people very sticky and difficult because everything we know is based on what other people know, so how can we ever know anything else?

E-reserve Reading:

I think it is important to study the differences between class and culture as the author suggests because it is really the only thing we can see – especially because everything we know is based on the world we live in. It is easier to study the differences and very difficult to study and understand the social norms we take for granted, like, why don’t men watch soap operas?

“We cannot lose sight of the differences that exist between us and our subjects outside of our discussions about television.” I believe this is an important point to remember when we conduct our research. We know about Facebook from our own perspective, so if we are not good listeners, we won’t be able to understand how our subjects feel about Facebook. We need to pay attention to every detail of the interviews and try to uncover what the subjects’ motivations are, rather then conduct some sort or uber formal interview.

Readings Due 6/2

Machin - Chapter 5

1. If we can not explain why we consume a certain type of media, would it be considered to be part of our own personal cultural tool kit?

2. Just because Ethnographic research can not be repeated exactly over and over again it is considered somewhat unrelable?

Seiter - e-reserve

1. Why is it considered unusual for a man to watch soap operas? Are men not supposed to enjoy drama, just as much as women?

2. Why did the researcher feel that the men were akward and acting differently because she was an "accademic"? Maybe it was because she was a women. Maybe it was because of the uncomforable questioning environment. I thought it was perculier that she just assumed she were acting differently because of her status.

Readings for 6/2

Machin Ch. 5

1.) Machin states "the main criticism of ethnography is that it's all about interpretation of the individual ethnographer" however, with an interview, for example, could the ethnography take the transcript to other ethnographers and develop multiple observations, or would this become invalid because the other ethnographers were not present for the actual interview?

2.) Machin refers to trinangulation as "a way ethnography can look at things from different angles." How specifically is the best way to excute trinagulation as a strategy during research?


1.) Seiter states, "certain statements taken out of context may create different impressions than if taken in sequence." That being said, as an audience, is it neccessary to always review the full transcripts of an interview in a study to develop an observeration (as opposed to only reading the portions pulled by the ethnographer)?

2.) Seiter states, "doing interviews with people different from us does help raise consciousness." Is it better to target interviewees who fall into the opposite category of beliefs, social standings, etc. than you (the interviewer) to develop a better understanding of the topic at hand, or can interviewing people similar to us be just as effective?

readings for 6/2

  1. In this reading, Machin states, “I have found that it is very difficult to accept what people say about exactly what they do.” I agree with this statement due to the fact that people want to be perceived a certain way by others. He goes on to say that ethnography allows the researcher to find out which programs a person watches because the researcher will be watching the program with you. However, won’t the presence of the researcher affect the programs the subject chooses to watch?
  2. Machin uses the triangulation as the way the ethnography can look at things from different angles. What angles specifically?

  1. I found it interesting that the men agreed to partake in the interview on the basis that they were frequent viewer of soap operas. They put on a fake fa├žade that they found soap operas to be absurd, and that they were for women, who are frequently at home. Why did they feel the need to categorize soap operas as being only for women when they themselves were frequent viewers?
  2. The interviewees were all different, and different from the type of people Seiter usually interviewed. Why is it beneficial to interview people from different spectrums who do not necessarily agree with your views?

Machin--Chapter 5- How Good is Ethnography.....

1. Why are questionnaires considered to be poor on validity, and why is it better to sit in with a group while you are a conducting a research rathern than handing them a survey to answer?

2. What does it mean by looking at a piece of research as representative? According to Machin there is a certain way to make a piece of research representative, how can this be achieved and name the two different ways of creating this research.

3. If we consider Machin's idea of a cultural tool from Chapter 2 really representing how a society acts andd that it is more likely that we cannot remain objective during our research, because of the social norms that we too are used to. Then, according to Machin (and today's class discussion) what is the main criticism of ethnography?

Readings for Tuesday 6/2

Machin, Chapter 5

1.) Since every human is different, with different personalities and characteristics, would there ever be a way to study subjects and accurately relate conclusions to larger populations?

2.) When conducting a ethnographic study, the researcher's own perspectives and background can influence what they deem to be important and choose to include within their study. Doesn't it then make sense to make multiple different researchers conduct these studies to incorporate their varied views and conclusions into discussions?

3.) There never is a guarantee that respondents will truthfully answer questions or act genuinely in observed setting, but when comparing all methodologies, Ethnography in my opinion is most successful.

Seiter, Making Distinctions...

1.) I find it somewhat humorous when the researcher is discribing the men's answers about watching soap operas and them obviously fibbing on the issue, like how they say they rarely watch soaps yet they answered the advertisement inquiring to study soap opera viewers. Would anyone agree that in general the thought of embarrasment causes people to hide or lie because they fear to be socially unaccepted by their actions and behaviors?

2.) Seiter describes the interview as full of miscommunications, based of class distinctions, ranging from wide varieties of topics and subjects. Like we have been discussing in class, it is important to allow your subjects to lead the interview and feel comfortable to have an open discussion, but doesn't it also make sense to somewhat gear the conversation so it doesn't sway too far off subject?

Problems in Media Audience Research

Readings for 6/2/09

Seiter, "Making Distinctions in TV Audience Research" responses:

1) "...It is difficult for academics involved in television studies to imagine the frustration and anger provoked by a dependency on television for education and lifelong exclusion from elite forms of higher education," (Seiter, 391).

With this in mind, how do academic studies of media define high and low culture in mass audiences? Mr. D said his work in fashion came from television viewing- how he understood what different furniture and time period styles were. If culture is going to be characterized in terms of audience depictions of viewing, should it not focus on what the information is that has been obtained, but how and to what detailed extent?

2) Seiter describes herself as a feminist and admits to Mr. H as a non-sympathetic man because of his stereotypical, sexist jokes. She then admits to errors and miss communications throughout the interview and research. Could it not be concluded that these miss communication came up not because of class backgrounds, but because Seiter's opinion led her interviews and understandings of the subjects' responses?

Machin, Chapter 5 responses:

1) On page 82, Machin tells us in his own ethnographic studies,"it is very hard to accept what people say about exactly what they do." On the next page he states that "ethnography allows the researcher to be much more certain about the validity of their data. I know which programmes you watch because I have been watching with you...," (Machin, 83). If Machin gives a clear statement about the meaning of ethnographic research, why does his first statement stray away from his interpretation? Does he mean to tell us that in ethnographic studies, it is impossible to question a subject because their answers may lack validity?

2) Page 87: Transparency:
We've learned thus far within ethnography lies anthropology. "Anthropology, therefore, should be understood as being a form of writing and not as a transparent reproduction of a particular culture," (Machin, 87). Because literature can be susceptible to different interpretations, how can a culture, whether it is studied ethnographically or anthropologically, be seen as the absolute truth in which members of that society see it? Is every culture susceptible to interpretation?