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.

 

38 comentarios:

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