lunes, 4 de mayo de 2009

Reflection #06 LAst thoughts on race, gender and media

This class has certainly helped me to understand and achieve a different view on American media products. As soon as I saw that a race and gender media class was being offered at OU I thought that this could be my only chance to take this class from an internal point of view about how American society works and what it is build up on.


At first, I never thought that all the prejudices regardding race that I’ve seen on TV or film were actually so present in nowadays American soicety. But the thing is that if these products are being made, there must be some reason to do so. From this point until now, I’ve really learned how important it is on a multicultural society such as the US’ to fully be aware of how individuals act and react in relation to the racial/ethnic/social “group” in which the media puts them in order to be able to try and understand how these products affect their everyday lives. And so somehow, the way in which African Amercians, Latinos or Asian americans, amongst others, are portrayed is simply the way they’re expected to be, image which in my opinion (from living in the US for a short period) is certainly erroneous.


However, this is not just a problem here. Spain has its own racial/ethnic/gender stereotypes which are commonly shown in the media and which are unfortunately widely spread as a cultural joke in Spanish society such as gypsies or gays. But the fact that it is such a controversial issue in the US makes me want to go back to Spain and make people aware of this, and try to avoid it from expanding, especially now that inmigration is part of our society’s development.


Regarding, gender, I had never thought of gender in relation to race before. I must admit that I had never heard of magazines, beauty products or ads launched for specific races such as African American women because they’re not even a minority (yet) from where I come from. However, I believe that this is more than a discriminatory kind of product, a necessary one as people with different physical features need different products and that is just a fact. Nontheless, when it comes to advertising products which are common for anybody despite their race/gender I was really impressed on how stereotyped the media can be. Ever since we had to write that blog on advertising I started noticing how Black families are used for insurance and health ads but not as much within family based ones about food, for example. It is to me a very subtle way to continue to discriminate ethnicities and this is not helping equality at all.


Hopefully, this class has broadenned my mind not towards thinking lets be equal, but to realise that society is not equal. It may sound sad, but many people live unaware of racism and machism in the media simply because it is subtile or because they aren’t aware of this modern way tagging or labelling us as both products and consumers.  


Finally, I would like to add that at first I did not really liked the idea of using a blog but it is actually a very good way to encourage the whole class to participate and allow the flux of ideas and communication amongst us. It is also a very effective way of allowing everybody to participate, especially if you’re shy and don’t want to talk in class, you always have a chance to raise your voice and be heard through a blog. At the same time we can easily and fast see what other classmates are thinking and doing for class. I certainly reccomend this system in such a big class because it enables all of us to become closer even if we never get to talk face to face, in fact even people form outside can take a look. And who knows, maybe we have already made someone react about the issues we’ve talked about in class.


Personal reflection #5 Racial stereotypes in advertisement


1. Clio aired April 4th 2009 (Spain)/ Modern female stereotype:

This advertisement was aired for the first time today in Spanish television to advertise a new car from the bran Clio. It stereotype modern women caucassian women as powerful using their sexuality in order to get what they want. This female scares this man through a threatening sexual situation who’s trying to buy the car in order to be able to get it for her. It portrays the feminine figure as devious and having no qualms to stepping on others for her own interests. It also shows the other side of women, as being jealous while men are easily manipulted by them. Ii shows males in a non controlling situation role. In fact the main character is feminized with his accent and words as he repeats exactly what he would have heard in the advert and so he seems to have hardly any control over his own decisions. The other male is there just to serve the customers and has nothing else to say. They’re not in charge, women are. Unlike i happens in american advertisement, no black characters ever protagonise automobile adverts because it makes no cultural reference to its cultural background.

2. Carrefour aired March 11th 2009 (Spain)/ Modern female non-stereotyped (physically):

Apparently women are taking over the control powers in Spanish culture and are used in this spot to talk abou how they will achieve to beat the economical crisis. They are not portrayed are archetypical housewives but they are still related to house clening products and fashion. Nontheless, the women shown are of a variable range of ages and and sizes which is a nice change for female portaryal as they are usually imaged as perfectly fit and pretty young women.

* Puntomatic aired November 27 th 2007 (Spain)/ Male stereotype:

Nontheless, talking about non-stereotyped genre roles I would like to incluye this older TV advertisement used to encourage men to contribute in the household. The lyrics sang accompany the images shown.


Pablo woke up, got his laundry done, and survived
Paco discovered something new: laundry is no longer a suffering
Now all of them know, underwear doesn’t wash itself
Don’t you see it’s not that bad?
You don’t even have to let go the remote control
These men can do it...
Then so do you, and you, and you...

Everything said is anti-machist message, even a very strong feminist viewpoint regarding male attitudes and capabilities at home. Nontheless, I believe that the mage of the dancing men is not ridiculing males, but feminizing them and iot may give the wrong impression o males whio watch it by making them believe that if they allow women to laugh at them and fllow their oders they will loose their masculinity.

3. Generalitat de Catalunya February 2009 (Cataluña, Spain)/ Racial integration or discrimination?

Racial issues don’t arouse as many as many polemics as polemic as linguistic issues in the different areas of Spain. Since the dictatorial regime, many autonomical communities were prohibited to use theirr mother tongue and forced to speak Spanish, now many of those communities are trying to remeerge the use of these languages by forcing education to be taught in Catalonian and even campaigning by fomentingits use on every aspect of life.

Unfortunately, they are lately aiming these advertisements towards inmigrants as one of the biggest and most increasing communities in Spain. Most of them are African, Asian, South Americanfrom different countries of Eastern Europe, especially Romania. These match most of the stereotypes present in the American culture, as seen in class.

The main characters of both the poster and the spot are portrayed by inmigrant people with certain characteristical physical features who are speaking or being spoken Catalonian. The song implies that if newcomers learn the local language (rather than or besides the official Spanish language) they will have it easier to integrate into society. And so just as Latinos are represented in the US, inmigrants in Spain are suggested that assimilitaion is the best way for them to fit into the local culture. Nontheless, speaking this language will only enable them to be able to communicate within this community and not in the rest of the country.

Nontheless, it suggests to the local people that they shouldn’t judge people’s knowledge of their language for their appearance (racial/ethnical) and they should approach them inthis language. Somehow this suggests a message of integration but it doesn’t bare in mind that 80% of Spanish citizens do not speak it either.

*Cola-Cao aired in 1962 (Spain)/ Black male stereotype (from fascist Europe point of view):

This is an example of racist advertising during the dictatorshi in Spain. Its jingle became increasingly famous during the 50’s on the radio and the TV version was made, it remmained the official song of this product during more than 30 years as even I heard it on TV when I was a child and unfortunately know the lyrics as most of Spain’s population.

It is one of the many ads that portrayed black people steretypes as being ridiculized and degraded. It fits the comic and coon stereotype except for the fact that he is represented as a happy looking black worker in the jungle working for white little rich kids, and all of the different men represented in the cartoons who are expecting to drink their hot cocoa in the morning. This protrayal of race as a classist division of mankind is obviously an example of the basis of the dictatorship encouraging arian racial superiority by making reference to other cultures and create patterns of representation which frame people’s perceptions of social opportunities for black people by reinscribing the differences. This promotes prejudiced attitudes towards other racial or ethnical features people and sets cognitive limits that prevail in today’s society as the people who grew up within this social context exposed to this type of commercial antiracial messages are less keen to interact with new coming inmigrants.

PRINTED: Magaziness & others

4. Female aimed magazine covers (April 2009 editions)
When it comes to gender aimed products race is an issue that arouses always. Women of color may be less prevalent than White women in ads but the fact is that this month half of the magazine covers that I’ve checked up show African-American females under titles such as Vogue. And not only on US editions, but in the international versions of these numbers. What it is also true is that they are pictured with light skin through soft lighitng and straight hair. Only the magazine Ebon, aimed to African-American cconsumers especifically reinforces Beyonce’s afro features as her hair.

According to the readings, White beauty standards prevail because advertisers assume that White consumers will not buy a product. However i believe that this ratio representation of beauty is slowly decreasing in favour of at least one minority. Still I have found no Latinas, Asian-Americans or American Indians in these magazines but after the ones portrayed it is more probable to find Latino icons in their pages.

5. Male magazine covers (April 2009 editions)

There’s a difference in the way male magazines sell themselves as all of the female ones had women in their cover, but not all male aimed magazines have faith in men buying them when there’s another man in the cover. And so half of these magazines show women in their underwear. The most explicit one is the spanish magazine Interviú which mught seem an erotic magazine but it isn’t it just sells its self by using female sexuality as a bate for men to buy these. This also stereotypes the target male as being easily manipulated through the use of sexuality rather than intelectual.

The magazines protagonize by men have mainly male black figures such as Will smith in their covers, this prooves that in some areas consolidized male actors have challenged and beaten the stereotype of the Uncle Sam portrayal. In fact these men are shown as powerful, confident and successful unlike the steretype.

viernes, 27 de marzo de 2009

Personal reflection #4 - Who decides what news is?

Major Mass Media conglomerates are powerful enough to control most of the exchange of information going on around the world, and therefore silencing the minority media voices. And so those who control them have power over the news reported and set the agenda broadcasted worldwide, or at least nationwise. This situation certainly restrains diversity from taking part in the game of information, just as it happens in Chicago where out of a hundred stations just one is owned by an Afro-American person. This makes the Agenda-Setting Theory (installed by Cohen during the 60’s) become a reality as it undermines the voices of minority groups and makes the voices of mayorities or people in control to become known or seen as public opinion when it isn’t by simply broadcasting what it is expected by the majority.

And so the Mass Media has a strong influence in society by determining what stories are news based on who they define as their main target rather than on the real importante of the event. This is achieved by how much space or time these events are given when broadcasted. Therefore, this theory states that the Mass Media determine the importance of information bearing in mind its audience (majority groups and their social or political views and values) and the impact that it will cause on them, just as they do when it comes to excluding which events aren’t important enough. And so the Mass Media’s agenda becomes the audience’s agenda. This doesn’t mean that media determines what we think but it does determine what to think about.

Bearing this in mind, it is quite obvious that there’s not much we as an audience can do to increase the main media channel’s interest on different topics, but what we can do is to try and read, watch and listen to minority media. And most important, compare diferent political biased media so that we can build up our own point of view by contrasting different opinions. I don’t know much about American media but in Spain I usually watch and read the two main left and right winged newspapers and news channels in the morning and then watch an “alternative” main channel for news at night which usually opens its daily broadcast with different events which barely appear on other media. And I believe that by doing so we can give this type of newsreporting our support so that they keep up the work in order to become stronger and hopefully more popular within the general audience.

I don’t know how wasr was reported in the US at first, but in Spain the right winged channels showed our ex-presient and his support towards the Iraq War as the right way to go. Obviously the opposition would give a much more negative view of this event and instead of showing the heads of state holding hands, they would insist on broadcasting images of war attrocities and bombardments. Images are usually the same in every channel, but voice overs differ largely from one to another. However, once Spain got into te eye of the hurricane witt the whole war thing and became a target terrorist forces, news stations started backing up the government or accusing it by blaming either the Spanish terrorist group know as ETA or Al Qaeda. A few months later the elections proved popular discontent and the former president took over especially because of his policy of backing up from Iraq.

All of this was the result of huge demonstrations against the war that occured all around the country and it certainly worked in favour against supporting the war. People spoke and voted for what they thought was right without any censorship involved, but surely with fright. However, after decades of living under a dictatorship, Spain as many other countries in Europe, is a country of free speech and open minds in which besides media’s inevitable manipulation people can express their thoughts openly even if they differ from the majority’s. Nontheless, our media failed at the time of informing as it wasn’t months after that it was made public who had provoked he terrorist attack and even years to inform public opinion about the real events that took place on 11-M.
*Newspaper cover from El Pais (left-winged/ opposition):
*Newspaper cover from El Mundo (right-winged/ government):

If we compare this situation to the Civil Rights movement we can totally yuxtapose this moments in time and place by stating that any press regarding an important event is always welcome as the important thing is to make people react and realise that there is somethign goind on, especially because all views and believes regarding it will certainly be different. Politicians and citizens shared the opinion that something should be done to change the fact that black people lacked civil liberties during the civil Right movement, just as Spanish politicians believed that something should be done against terrorism in Spain and despite their different political views a common goal is always an easier thing to fight for as it needs unity from all of us.

I personally believe that it is a shame how media simply control what we think about. It feels like unless they determine the relevance of an event, mankind might not even know that it ever occured. But the worse part is how they have the ability to manipulate the images and make them seem like something else. I feel like we aren’t at all in control of what we know, we just have to have faith that how and what we think is our personal thought and fight for our voices to be heard whenever and injustice takes place. No relevant part of history has ever been written by a single person, it is unity of a group and the encouragement of a fair cause that makes the world change.

viernes, 27 de febrero de 2009

Personal reflection#3 - Tracking race and gender stereotypes in the media

Ocurrence 1:
- 02/17/09 – (radiofranceinternationale) – 3 pm
- Online french newspaper
- Black Guinean soccer player suffers verbal racial attacks during a game, agressor faces nocharges because he claims he was drunk.
- Racism.

Ocurrence 2:
- 02/23/09 – JMC 4853 – Race, gender and the media – 6 pm
- Bell Cort Room, OU Law School
- Class experience - Dean Evans
- Interesting lecture on the history of OU’s first African-American student and the history of the black people of America which I’m learning so much about and as a foreign student I was aware but not involved in.
- Evolution of american society within racism.

Ocurrence 3:
- 02/24/09 – Governor’s room OMU – 12 pm
- PAN AMERICAN Student Association officers meeting and tasting
- Discussion about the typical hispanic dinner that will be served next Friday at our cultural night, some basic ingredients such as beer or jelly cannot be used because we are expecting arab guests who by are by their religion unable to eat these. Dilema arouses when we have to choose between having this idea in mind despite the fact that it unables us to really allow guests to “taste” our culture. Solution is to adapt the menu but that means it is no longer Latin American. Will people notice?
- Cultural assumptions about people unaware of Latin American culture/ gastronomy.

Ocurrence 4:
- 02/25/09 – ENG 3423 – Film and other expressive forms – 7-9 pm
- Gittinger 0317 (T, W, TR)
- Film screening – Professor Joanna E. Rapf
- A Raisin in the Sun, Daniel Petrie (1961) – Based on a play by Lorraine Hansberry.
- African-American racial and gender stereotypes. Discrimination, segregation and asimilation during the 60’s. It is very important that a late version for TV was shot last year, this means that this issues are still recurring themes in society.

Ocurrence 5:
- 02/26/09 – ENG 3423 – Film and other expressive forms – 1.30-3 pm
- Jakobson 102
- Extra lecture – Professor James Ragan
- Discussion and comparison between the adaptations and meanings of A Raisin in the Sun, Daniel Petrie (1961) and The Godfather, Francis Ford Coppola (1972) within their historical contexts and its relationship with present US history regarding Obama.
- Breaking apart the stereotype. Family values from Americans (and inmigrants) point of view and their process of integration/ segregation in society and asimilation of their cultural roots.
- African-American racial and gender stereotypes. Discrimination, segregation and asimilation during the 60’s.

Ocurrence 6:
- 02/26/09 – Campus – 3 pm
- Personal conversation/debate with classmates after the lecture.
- Discussion about why is Obama’s whiteness not aknowledged when he’s portrayed by the media.
- Racial assumptions.

Ocurrence 7:
- 02/27/09 - - 10.04 am
- Online chilean newspaper (conversation with a Chilean exchange student whose friend died)
- Shocking news about a racial attack in Miami against Chilean exchange workers.
- A 60 year old American shot a group of young chileans in their home killing two of them and leaving three more seriously injured. The guys had come to the US to work for four months in the company Win USA. The neighbours decribed the agressor as a “racist”.
- Racial discrimination

Ocurrence 8:
- 02/27/09 – – 4 pm
- Mexican advertisement for Verizon Wireless
- Scandalous use of machism used as a joke to advertise a cell phone company offer. Directed especifically towards Hispanic communities.
- Gender assumptions and community stereotyping.

Personal reflection:

As a media student I’m totally aware on the amount of stereotyping there is in the advertising and information bussinesses. However, what mostly shocks me is how “well accepted” or integrated is this issue in nowadays society. The fact that advertisements and incidents which degrade the image of women or racial minorities certainly shows that society is not only used to being exposed to these ideas on a regular basis, but that they’re unreactive towards them being broadcasted. However, there are still unfortunate and uncomprehensible crimes against equality going on in the world such as the news about Miami that a friend of mine came over to tell me this morning. I can't understand how there are people insane enough to kill others just because they belong to different nationalities, there is so much left to do in the world that I fear that makind will never have time enough to eliminate prejudices.

Nontheless, I believe that education and interaction of cultures is the way to solve this problem, as so far in my personal and daily experience I have just found myself with friends, teachers and situations which involve a prosperous view worldwide human intearction. This is experience has come to me as an opportunity to break down stereotypes that the media had put into my mind during my life and enabled me to make extremely important friendships based on tolerance and understanding. Surrounding myself with international people gives me hope whenever I find myself watching a racist advert. It is a fact that we conceive certain ethnic groups with a certain perspective dependeing on where we come from. For example, while American society is way more concerned about racism towards African-American people, Europe takes this issue to a different level. In fact gender discrimination is the biggest cause for concern lately in countries such as Spain, where violence against woman is so present in he news that they no longer cause an impact on the reader or viewer as they used to do.

And so, by living this year in the United States I believe that I’m getting to understand better how America’s mind works and I really appreciate how lately most of my classes have been spinning around a similar axis because there’s no way I could have learned about all of this from a first hand experience in my home country. It is probably for this reason that I get so emotionally altered during screenings of movies such as A Raisin in the Sun or lectures such as Dean Evans’ or Professor James Ragan’s. It is then when I consider myself as a privileged woman for being able to witness Obama’s triumph over racial discrimination and the evolution of mankind towards a fairer social world. I am witnessing the construction of history from the first row of the world’s theatre.

viernes, 13 de febrero de 2009

Personal reflection#2 – Hairspray and privilege

Set in the city of Baltimore, Maryland in 1962, in the time of John F. Kennedy's presidency and during the Vietnam War. The musical Hairspray was first released in 1988 under the direction of John waters and recently filmed by Adam Shankman in 2007. This is a very relevant time to set the movie on as it was the year in which “Dr. Martin Luther King spoke in front of 3.5000 people at Willard W. Allen Masonic Temple urging continued non-violence demonstrations opposing segregation”. Also, “President Kennedy ordered federal marshals to escort James Meredith, the first black student to be permitted to enroll at the University of Mississippi”. However, I would like not just to analyse this 20 year old cinematrographic piece of art but its recent remake and its relationship to America’s present history.

*Timeline and article about the movie and its historical context:

For those who haven’t watched the movie or can barely remember it concisely right now here goes a quick review: Tracy, the protagonist of this film is obsessed with a TV teen dance show, The Corny Collins Show, whcich remains a racially segregated
program. The host and all of his Council Members are obviously white and so black kids are only allowed on The Corny Collins Show on "Negro Day", which is held the last Tuesday of each month. However, youngsters are mean and this film isn’t just about racial discrimination as Tracy is bullied by her classmates and rejected at the TV programme’s audition for being overweight as well as supportive of integration. She will lead to them to protest for equality and claim their right to participate in the contest without racial discrimination.

*Clip of Tracy being teased by classmates in school:

As far as I’m concerned, remakes from old movies or adaptations from novels, comics or any other piece of art are not just brought into the screen for any irrelevant reason. In the majority of cases the director has found history repeating itself and society in need for advise or realisation of a determined issue. Therefore, they decide to rewrite recognised storylines in order for the audience to easily read between lines a newly intertexualize its mesage and apply it to modern society.

Somehow, this movie reflects how the simple fact of being “different” to what majorities describe as “normal” was and still is a cause for rejection and exclusion from certain social activities. However, we are all different in a sense and so having a female, white character which doesn’t really fit into the perfectly stereotyped 60’s teenage girl as a protagonist enables the audience (composed by differentiated people) to rapidly and efficiently identify with her and therefore easily understand the movie’s main message. Tracy’s ackowledgement of her “inferiority” in opposition to the other girls in school is at the same time an open window that enables her to identify herself into the afro-american kids in school. However, to these kids she is the “different” one as comparisons always tend to depart from the point of view of the majority. Nontheless, her dancing skills are her tool to integrate into this group and be accepted by those who are discriminated just as her and join forces to fight against inequality.

Another thing to be taken into consideration about this movie is how it visually depicts unearned advantages and conferred dominance within the society during the 60’s (and less strictly but still present nowadays), as the TV show wouldn’t audition this so called “cool kidz” for their dancing skills but because of their physical appearance, especially skin colour. And so, dominance of the white pretty rich kids shows the inequality of privilege distribution. The teens getting rewarded aren’t necessarily the ones who diserve it the most.

This movie is somehow used as a tool to protest against racism and other types of discrimination and is calling for society to stand up and fight for their rights and a fair treatment. However, denial is a very present issue that lies in modern societies and this could be a problem at the time of interpreting this movie on modern times. I first watched it in Spain a year ago and I remember my mom commenting how unbelieveable the plot seemed to her even within the based upon context of the movie. She thought of it as a reminder of what used to happen during a time in which racism was considered to be inevitable in the United States, while in Spain we had a dictatorship going on and everything during that time spinned around the issue of racial superiority and the national pride. And so, the fact that Spanish society has changed so dramatically from that time to the present made my mom interpret this movie as a reminder of what happened, as many historically based Spanish movies tend to do nowadays.

Unfortunately, my reading was a little bit different. I believe that the remake of Hairspray actually demonstrates that race is still a main concern in moder american society and that it is yelling to the audience to stand up and stop denying reality; to reivindicate equality; to remember and avoid commiting the same errors once and again. And probably this movie fulfilled its purpose by encouraging americans to suppport Obama on the last elections. It may seem a stupid point to bring up but it is also true that the new media make societies move and are very influential when it comes to making decissions.

In fact, on a second level, we could discuss the resemblance between the movie’s finale and the elections results. Against all expectations, Hairspray ends with Inez (a young black girl) being elected winner of the The Corny Collins Show, just as Obama was fairly elected President. It is also one of the biggest moments of American and world history that he has become the new President and I am glad that I’m here as an exchange student to be a witness of this foresighted change. In the movie, this victory meant that the programme was finally integrated despite many people’s rejection such as one of the presentor’s declared frustration. Nontheless, she is caught red-handed by the camera confessing that she tried to trick the results and fired from the show as a sign of fair decissions and integration.

*Clip of the last scene of the 2007 Hairspray movie:

All in all, this is basically a movie about race and the unfairness of white privilege. However, this issues were certainly of greater importance at the time when the film was first made and the one it is based on, thefore in order to catch the modern audience’s attention newer and also denied issues should de brought into the scene. Despite many criticisms about John travolta’s female role in this remake, I believe that this is no way an offensive newly introduced element by Shankman, but a claim for homosexual and transsexual integration towards society’s acceptance of personal changes and decissions that individuals should be allowed to make. It is a major concern in modern societies which are introducing the right to gay marriages into their law systems despite criticism and opposition from many groups.

*Interview with John travolta about his transformation:

Using what we talked about in class, the readings and after watching Tim Wise’s video, I have tried to illustrate all of the points stated by reading subtdly between this movie’s lines and analysing this hidden social issues in its original and actual context. It is obviously my personal view, but anybody is free and invited to leave some comments and express their opinions about my readings or add some
of their own.

martes, 3 de febrero de 2009

Personal reflection #1

Gulliver’s travels was the first book I ever read as a child, but I doubt my ability at the time to read between lines and approach the satire that involves Jonathan Swift’s collection of novels. However, while I was sitting quietly at the end of that intimidating class full of foreigners to me, I somehow felt small and wished for the earth to swallow me before anyone pointed at me asking what race meant to me. And somehow, I thought of myself as an equivalent of Gulliver himself.

Somehow, every other student in the room became one of those creatures that Gulliver encounters during his multiple travels. They may seem one thing at first sight, but they may not see the world through the same eyes. As the class was discussing wether race was used to categorise differences between people, it also came up the use of race as a differentiation tool to put these same characters into boxes. However, depending on who you are and where you are at the time, you may be dragged from one box to another.

As to what race is referred, I could have quickly been categorized as a caucassian female, yet I myself certainly did not feel as being part of the biggest group in the class. My first impulse would have probably been a simple two category breakdown between Americans and foreigners (Spanish in this case).

In an attempt to try and make my point clearer I would like to highlight that before we start differentiating individuals we also have to bare in mind the social context of the place we are at and certanily the personal and social values of each person involved. As a matter of fact, the cultural reality of each country will be a crucial element to take into account at the time of breaking a society into racial divisions. Meanwhile, these may fall into similar or equal sereotypes. This is because despite having different social realities and values, the influence of media (and especially US products) have the power to transfer these values and behavioural patterns concerning ethnical groups to the rest of the world as one big audience.

On the other hand, as I already stated before, foreigners from Europe such as me would consider the members of the class Americans. However, every American in that same class broke that division down into smaller groups such as Afro-americans, Asian-Americans, Native-Americans and so on. I would for sure be able to appreciate those groups if asked because of the influence of the media and the obvious physical diferences between races, but those words are not as necessary or as common in societies such as the one I come from, where the main distinction is brought up by ethnicity, nationality or religion.

I don’t know if many people here might know, but inmigration is a pretty new phenomenon that has been increasing in European countries over tha past decades, as not long ago we were the ones to inmigrate. In opposition to this, the United States is a multiethnic country which has grown to become what it is nowadays by the amount of foreigners that once traveled to the US in search for an opportunity as it continues to happen. The fact that the interaction of cultures is part of American history makes race an actual matter of disscussion and distinction on the media and its various products. In addition, these many distinctions have many to do with the variety of politics and rights that each country has been build up on.

Now, I find this class and the disccussion of race in the US a magnifficient opportunity for me because in countries such as Spain (in which the media are starting to categorise characters on the news by their nationality) we could learn from both the errors and improvements that have occurred here so far. I work as a newspaper reporter back in Spain and I’m seriously concerned about the long-term effects of this new recurring fashion in which the media continue to bring up race and nationalities as one of the main issues on the news by constantly relating then to phelony and crime. In my opinion, this will only encourage society to relate both ideas and enter in a vicious spiral which will take away chances for integration and interaction between cultures and finally will end up arousing fears and fobias that could result in isolation of people in their own “boxes”. Especially in a world in which an individual barely belongs to a certain race, country or etnicity, but to the environmental reality that has taken part in their development as a person throughout its many life experiences.

All in all, I would like to go back to my home country and ty to put into practice as much as I can get to learn form my whole experience as an exchange student in the US and this class, just as Gulliver did. I know that my scarce knowledge won’t have a radical effect in the way society and the media distinguish between different types of mankind. However, if I can manage to get my readers to understand and appreciate the different ways to approach race and at the same time be able to understand better what I see when I’m watching foreign products, my goals will have certainly been achieved.