Sex and the Media
Can we say that men are now ‘objectified’ in visual culture in the same way as women?
Make an argument as to why the social/political consequences of ‘objectifying’ images
might be different, or that they should be understood as the same, for men and women.
Your argument should address why and how the social context of ‘postfeminism’ (Gill,
2007) affects our understandings of images. You might find using magazines, movies,
television shows or an advertising campaign helpful for this analysis.
ATS 2561 Sex & The Media
RELEASED IN WEEK 6
Third assignment – Research major essay (2250 words) (worth 50% of final mark and grade). DUE MONDAY JUNE 8th 2014 11:55pm on Moodle The essay questions/project themes will be released in Week 6, following the Class Test. This is because some questions build directly on those asked in the Class Test. Students will choose ONE from the list of 8 research questions. Students may not develop their own research questions. Criteria for Marking: This task will develop your research and writing skills and your capacity for independent learning. In your argument, you will be able to demonstrate your knowledge of key theoretical frameworks in the areas we are studying and show your capacity to express a critically informed position. Your argument will be based on sound independent research. Presentation, including appropriate citation and good clear expression, will be important in this task. Learning objectives 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 are being developed and assessed here. Please review the Research Paper Rubric on Moodle for further assessment grading details.
Submission Requirements A guide to presentation of written work is included at the back of the unit guide. You are expected to use the APA, Harvard or ASA as outlined in the guide. Please check with the unit convenor if you are unsure about essay preparation. Citation is an important aspect of presenting academic work. It is sensible to keep good record of your reading and notes from the beginning of semester. Failure to cite correctly will result in the loss of marks and could result in plagiarism in your work.
? 1.5 spacing; Neatly formatted/presented ? ASA, Harvard or APA are the accepted styles for referencing & citation. Please see library links/ FAQs Referencing on Moodle for proper referencing techniques. ? Electronic submission through Moodle (hardcopies not accepted). Please see FAQs Moodle Submission ? 2250 Words give or take 10% (Your word count: highlight the first sentence of your introduction to the last sentence of your conclusion. That is your word count. Your word count includes your in-text references/footnotes; it does not include your bibliography, coversheet or appendix). Please see FAQs Essay Writing for academic writing tips.
Please include properly referenced links in your reference list to your chosen advertising campaigns/music videos/images/media articles/examples. If you are planning on using images, please place them in a separate document from your paper and upload this to moodle. Use an appendix style of referencing (see FAQ Images on Moodle).
Assessment Task 3: Research Essay/Projects Questions Research essay/project: write an essay of 2250 words answering ONE of the questions listed below. There are 8 questions/projects to choose from.
1) Albury and Crawford (2012) argue of the ‘sexting’ campaign video Meagan’s Story that ‘This narrative evokes the “risk management” model of sexual violence prevention education critiqued by feminist scholars such as Sharon Marcus (1992) and Louise Hall (2004), in which women are defined as inherently at risk of sexual violence. At the same time, they are held responsible, as self-governing subjects, for predicting, evading and/or managing this risk’ (2012, p. 465).
a. Critically review the Australian Government CyberSmart campaign film Tagged from a feminist perspective (http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/tagged/). In your response, you should identify the kind of normative beliefs about sex and gender produced in the film, and develop a position on why this film may or may not be an effective response to the issue of teenage ‘sexting’ practices. If you would like you may choose an alternate documentary/campaign film. Please get in touch with me (Andrea) if you would like to go this route.
2) Select a recent advertising campaign (it may be located across several media) to critically analyse in relation to the socio-cultural construction of gender. Using the critical frameworks you have developed this semester, develop a position on how femininity, masculinity and/or heterosexuality/GLBTIQ are being constructed in the campaign through visual and textual signifiers, and what this means for men and women (and sex and gender diverse) as the gendered subjects addressed in the campaign.
3) Can we say that men are now ‘objectified’ in visual culture in the same way as women? Make an argument as to why the social/political consequences of ‘objectifying’ images might be different, or that they should be understood as the same, for men and women. Your argument should address why and how the social context of ‘postfeminism’ (Gill, 2007) affects our understandings of images. You might find using magazines, movies, television shows or an advertising campaign helpful for this analysis.
4) “You get these little short shorts … and the type of clothes you’d expect a grown woman to wear to a nightclub to attract men they are selling in a size seven.” (Sydney Morning Herald, August 15, 2012).
a. Popular belief about sexualisation maintains that young boys and girls are being trained to be sexual in vastly different ways in order to be accepted in our society. Do you agree? Develop your position through a discursive analysis of recent news reports on children and sex in the media. (What discourses about ‘appropriate’ and ‘normative’ and ‘inappropriate/deviant’ childhood and gender can you identify in articles like the one quoted from above?)
5) “So whereas in traditional media, viewers might see representations of women being used or exploited, gaming offers players the unique opportunity to use or exploit female bodies themselves. This forces gamers to become complicit with developers in making sexual objectification a participatory activity” (Anita Sarkeesian, 16/07/2014)
a. In her Tropes vs Women Video Games Series (www.feministfrequency.com), Anita Sarkeesian argues that unlike claims around traditional forms of media where the receptors are often considered passive audiences, gamers are actively engaged in the process of sexually objectifying women which may have harmful social implications. Do you agree? Develop your response using relevant literature to support your claims.
6) Schneider suggests that female bodies in advertising have to come represent the quality of ‘desire’ itself, rather than just a specific product (p. 90). Are women’s bodies used in visual consumer landscapes to connote the quality of ‘desire’ itself (sexual or not)? Describe and analysis key examples of your choosing the social construction of gender and sexuality.
7) There are continuous debates about whether or not women (or men) seek empowerment through their self-sexualisation and subjectification, and may or may not have autonomy regarding their choices in engaging with beauty and raunch culture. Critically evaluate such claims by developing an informed stance as to whether you think women (or men) do or do not have such autonomy.
8) Some have suggested that shopping centres can be seen as ‘women’s spaces.’ What characteristics of (raced, classed) femininity/masculinity are being mobilised or suggested in the spaces of Chadstone? What place does sex have in the visual landscape of Chadstone in relation to these constructions of femininity? Explain your position with reference to relevant literature and observations of visual culture in this consumer space.
This question requires a fieldtrip to conduct primary research at Chadstone Shopping Centre (www.chadstone.com.au). Make sure to take photos as part of your visit and attach them in a separate document for your appendix. To help you with this assessment, ensure to review Week 2 and 4 to help you with your textual analysis. When conducting your visit, think of these questions:
? Examine the exits and entries to the shopping centre: what shops are positioned next to entrances and exits? What other sorts of service stores are close to the entrance? What sorts of service stores are close to the public amenities (toilets, seating, drinking fountains, etc)? ? Consider the profile of the ‘ideal’ customer for this shopping centre: Who seems to be using the centre? What sorts of activities are people engaged in besides shopping? Are there any observations about the sex and/or gender of consumers that you can make? ? Consider the different sections of the shopping centre: Are there any observations you can make about ‘desirable shoppers’ in the different sections? ? Consider the different sections of the shopping centre: what kind of consumer ‘desires’ are being cultivated in the different sections? ? What ideas about sex and gender are being used visually to cultivate consumption in the different sections?
Research Essay/Project Tips
Some key features of good research essays (Check out FAQs Essay Writing; FAQS Referencing & FAQS Research for further tips):
Clarity in structure
? It is very important to edit your work towards this end, so that your argument clearly ‘shines’ through and your reader does not have to go searching for it amongst a jumble of points, information and material.
? An introduction which is well structured is one that states the question and your argument/response concisely, and briefly outlines the key points you will make to support your argument/response to the question.
? Defines your use of any terms that are key to your argument.
? A body which is well structured is generally separated into different sections for different points. Ideally, each paragraph should make one clear point, and each point should build on the last in order to progress your argument (make your case stronger).
? Your conclusion should summarise your response to the question and summarise the points you have made to establish a clear and persuasive argument.
Clarity in writing
? Short, sharp, to-the-point sentences. If your sentence goes for more than 3 lines, revise it for the sake of clarity and for your poor reader!
? Thorough editing. This means looking carefully over working material and completed drafts and revising your expression for clarity. Another important goal of editing is to cut out ANY point or information that does not directly relate to your argument, or to the QUESTION you are answering. It may be very interesting, but if it does not serve your argument, it needs to go!
? Clear explanations of key terms and theoretical concepts. Do not assume that your reader knows anything! Always explain your use of terms for them. Do not use important terms, concepts, or ideas (e.g. ‘gender’, ‘sexual difference’, ‘sexualisation’) without first outlining for your readers precisely how you will be using these terms (what you mean by them).
Evidence of research and connection between theoretical ideas
? Engagement with unit ideas/application of unit ideas
? Use of readings from a variety of weeks in the course/outside research AND/OR thorough engagement with a particular issue or author.
? Making connections between different theories and issues, and the specific topic/question you are addressing; making clear for readers the links between various areas of knowledge/theory.
? Evidence in your argument, quotes, and reference list that you have examined sources besides the set readings and done some independent research.
? Thorough and consistent referencing and acknowledging of ideas and sources.