Television and Diversity

Television and Diversity

Television and Diversity Quickwrite #3 Make a brief list of your favorite television shows or films. How diverse are these pop culture products in terms of race, age, culture, religion, sexual orientation, etc? How are characters who are from minority groups treated/characterized? Does this issue ever affect your decision to watch (or continue watching) a film/show?

What do we mean when we talk about diversity in the media? It might mean a discussion of how closely media products as a group reflect the diversity of the society that is producing them. It might mean a discussion of how a specific media product deals with the question of diversity. Are minority groups represented? If so, are they represented fairly, or as stereotypes? Terms that are Relevant to the Discussion

Diversity: the condition of having or being composed of differing elements : variety; especially : the inclusion of different types of people (as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization (Meriam Webster Online Dictionary) When the word is used to talk about different types of people, there is also a connotation of acceptance of and respect for those differences. Terms that are Relevant to the Discussion Tokenism: the practice of doing something

(such as hiring a person who belongs to a minority group) only to prevent criticism and give the appearance that people are being treated fairly (Meriam Webster Learners Dictionary) Marginalize: to relegate to an unimportant or powerless position within a society or group (Meriam Webster Online Dictionary) A few more words to know: Portray: verb (Noun form is portrayal) 1 to make a picture of : depict

2 a : to describe in words b : to play the role of Miss Spitlers note: This word often has the connotation of a fictional, not necessarily true representation. Depict: verb (Noun form is depiction) 1: to represent by or as if by a picture Miss Spitlers Note: depict/depiction and portray/portrayal are often used interchangeably because they are synonyms. Problematic: a : posing a problem : difficult to solve or decide

b : not definite or settled : uncertain c : open to question or debate : questionable Lets use all of these words in a sentence: Too often, Latinos are depicted as criminals, gardeners, or maids, and little else. This portrayal is problematic because there are many Latinos who do not fit these stereotypes. Producers and writers should make an effort to write characters and storylines that will put forward a more complex portrayal of the people in this

community. TV Diversity: Whose Job is it Anyway? What larger conversation is this article responding to? What specific show/event is the article responding to? In the first section of the essay, the author, Aydrea Walden, uses a strategy described in They Say, I Say. She lists common objections to further inclusion of minority characters (thats the they say part), and then, she offers a counter-argument about why each of those objections doesnt make sense. (Thats her I say part.) What did you think of the they say objections she cites?

What did you think of her counter-arguments? Was she convincing? The Effects of a Lack of Diversity In TV Diversity: Whose Job is it Anyway, Aydrea Walden claims the following: The shortest possible answer to does diversity on TV matter? is yes. Repeatedly showing people images absolutely has an affect on the way they live their lives. Its the basis for the advertising industry. By regularly marginalizing people of color on screen, it makes it easier for people to marginalize those same populations in real life.

What does she mean by this? What do you think of this criticism? Group Discussion (if we have time) Share some of your responses from your quickwrite with a group of three or four peers. (In case you forgot, the quickwrite said, Make a brief list of your favorite television shows or films. How diverse are these pop culture products? How are characters who are from minority groups treated/characterized? Does this issue ever affect your decision to watch a film/show?)

Discuss each others responses respectfully and be ready to report back on your discussion to the class. Questions from They Say, I Say Chapter 2 1. What is the purpose of summarizing others material in your own writing? 2. How can you avoid a list summary? (And why do you need to avoid it?) Questions from They Say, I Say 1. What is the purpose of summarizing others

material in your own writing? Fairly represent what an author says. Prepare for your own response (focus on points that will be important for you). 2. How can you avoid a list summary? (And why do you need to do this?) 1. Summarize with regard to your own interests. 2. Avoid says or discusses to describe your sources points, using more interesting and accurate words instead.

Summarizing In Essay #1 In your first essay, you may find yourself summarizing an entire essay we read in class or a whole source you found yourself in a few lines. Make sure that after you summarize, you give credit. Example: According to the article TV Diversity: Whose Job is it Anyway? The people involved in making movies offer many reasons that there are fewer African Americans than one would expect being cast in mainstream roles. Many of these reasons, though, do not hold up to scrutiny (Walden). These weak excuses suggest that while we have made many advances

towards racial equality, there is still work to be done. How do I write about this issue? First of all, youve got to decide what you think about the big questions. What do you think about how diverse the media being produced right now is? Do you think that its enough to simply include actors/characters from minority groups in shows/, films, etc? If not, what else should be done? Are there certain groups that you notice being portrayed

How do I write about this issue? Start paying attention. I know not all of us watch a lot of TV, but if you do, start noticing how diverse the characters you see are, or how diverse the musicians you listen to are, etc. Start doing some reading. Its very difficult to know what you think about this issue until you know what the big debates are. Where do I do this reading?

In this case, google is your friend. A lot of the most current writing about this issue hasnt made it into the school databases yet. Searches that have been productive for me: Diversity and the media TV and diversity (or television and diversity) If you wish to research a certain group, play around with combinations of the group name, and the words diversity, media, and television (or whatever medium you are researching. If you wish to research a certain piece of pop culture, type in the name of the film/show/genre and diversity and see what you come up with.

These same searches work with the school databases.

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