Activity: Cultural analysis of the media

The aim of this activity is to utilize concepts of representation to analyze media texts. Specifically, you will investigate how issues of social power and ideology help structure the representation of particular social groups in the contemporary media landscape.

INSTRUCTIONS
Choose a cultural group that you would like to analyze the representation of in the media. Cultural groups include, but are not limited to: children, elderly, rich white men, Latinas, young black men, poor white women, Asians mothers, lesbians, transgender people, people with different abilities (i.e., “disabilities”), people with mental health disorders, etc.

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Once you have chosen a group you would like to analyze, answer the following questions:

Based on your experiences with the media, with what frequency is your group represented? Do you think this group is over- or under-represented? Why?
What associations (stereotypes) are frequently made with this group? List at least 10. Are these associations generally positive, negative, or both?
Provide examples of specific media texts that either reinforce or challenge the associations you listed in question 2. Which column is longer? Why?

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