Tuesday, June 2, 2009

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?

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