We have all heard of racial profiling and probably even taken part in it. Racial profiling is the practice of police and other officials as well as regular people, that target people of colour as they believe that if you are a person of colour you must be doing something wrong. There are also other versions of this which are stereotypes but they all are similar as they profile a person just by the colour of their skin. For example black people are good at basketball is a stereotype and thinking that any people of colour are good at certain things is racial profiling. It is much more serious though than stereotyping as people get wrongfully arrested or hurt just because of the colour of their skin. An example of this is a big story of a community watch man shooting a young African American boy. Trayvon Martin was a 17 year old unarmed boy. George Zimmerman was the shooter and claimed that Martin attacked him first even though when police and reports reached the scene Zimmerman had no signs of being injured. Zimmerman had racially profiled Martin thinking because he was African American that he was up to no good even though all he was doing was getting some food at an intermission of a basketball game. This is the worst possible outcome of racial profiling as a young innocent man was killed because of the colour of his skin. Zimmerman looked like he would get off with little to no charge but recently he has been charged with 2nd degree murder which should have been the minimum. Below is the article and video from the shooting and the article of Zimmerman’s new charges.
Lost in Transmission Ch. 6
National media is aimed at the entire nation and attempts to send a message in a way that everyone is able to understand it. Right now in the US they are getting ready for the Presidential Election which is a media event that definitely should be national. In order for it to reach the masses it needs to be sent in ways that everyone can view them one of these ways is through the internet. Not only is the way the message are sent important but also the message itself. The media institution that is sending the message must keep in mind that if it wants the best possible profits that it must appeal to everyone that they can. In a capitalist economy like the US profit is everything. In the news article I read it was one of a list of articles about the election to provide media on all the on goings and candidates. The news messages are short and to the point and include simple language and simple numbers so that the general public and easily understand. If it was more of a niche media institution they might have been more in depth and required some previous knowledge on the subject. However for national media events the message needs to be for a lack of a better word dumbed down so that even the least educated can understand the message. Which can be seen in the article attached. It is also very short so that the audience does not get bored of it. Many aspects need to be considered when sending a nation wide message that you wish to be received by as many people as possible. The article is linked below.
Mediated Society Ch. 7
In the past global media events tend to be about an event that encompasses much of the world or at least the developed world. The events become global because multiple nations are influenced by it. The messages that the media send out are meant to be interpreted by a mass audience so they are very general and try to appeal to the largest audience possible. Recently though we have seen a different style of global media events. The one I am referring to is Kony 2012 which hit facebook in the first week of march and within days became viral. The video was posted and shared by everyone worldwide. It was the first time that facebook’s connectivity was going to do some great things for the world. For roughly three weeks everything on facebook was about Kony whether it was videos, pictures or just posts about it. Everyone wanted to make a change or at least be apart of the change. The video that made it viral was appealing to all walks of life and showed kids being taken advantage for Kony’s LRA. After it was huge on facebook other forms of media took notice and it was on the news in the newspaper. The world was now concerned for the cause for this kids of Uganda. However after it got viral other videos came out disproving the legitimacy of the video and the foundation. As some facts stated were wrong and the expenditures of the foundation were suspect. Still it promoted good intentions. It just goes to show us how we need to hear all the views not just one and trust it for what it says. Below are two links on is the Kony 2012 website with the video that went viral and the second is one on the legitimacy of the foundation.
Mediated Society Ch.6
In recent times the debate over the legalization of marijuana has gained centre stage. There are arguments for both sides however it seems as if the side that wants decriminalization or legalization has the more convincing arguments. We have all been told in elementary school that drugs are bad and that we should never do them. But what is considered a drug? Marijuana which has a number of benefits and does little harm to the user and no risk of overdose, is considered a drug just as bad as heroin. While alcohol is fine as long as you are the legal age even though there are many deaths each year due to it and it harms your body in multiple ways. Right away it seems obvious that something needs to be changed but if that isn’t enough then take into consideration the amount of money, time and man power used to control the use of weed. Canada uses $500 million dollars a year on the prohibition of marijuana. $150 million just in court costs. In 2001 70,624 citizens were arrested for marijuana related charges of these 3/4 were arrested for simple possession charges. With all the money spent and lives ruined through criminal records the prohibition of marijuana is doing more harm than good. Instead of spending all the money on marijuana prohibition why not spend it on schools and projects to help the community. Attached are the articles I read for this blog but they are not the only ones look around they are everywhere so there is the ability to have a well rounded view on the subject.
Issues in Social Justice Ch. 7
We have been bombarded by articles and posts talking about how the media portrays women as objects for sex and to be dominated by males. The media also shows women as only beautiful if they are skinny tall and are big breasted. All the magazines tailored towards women and even those towards men are Photoshopped so that the women can reach an impossible scale of beauty. Even the women that are deemed the most beautiful in our society the super models go through picture editing to look even better. So what we are seeing in magazines is an impossible goal. After looking around I found an article about JACOB a women’s fashion retailer which is adopting a no retouching policy for all their models. This was done in order to promote an honest and realistic image of the female body. There will still be some retouching but that is said to be for the colour of clothes and such not to alter the body of the models. This is a long over due policy that should encompass all advertising as altering the body of people gives the audience and viewers an unrealistic sense of beauty and the human form. This can lead to health problems in young women and self esteem issues. JACOB is on the leading edge of this new natural beauty policy that tries to find the beauty in everyone not just people that fit the super skinny and tall look. Hopefully this policy catches on with other companies.
Concept from Issues in Social Justice Ch. 2
With the mass media holding so much power and constantly promoting the dominant ideals it makes it had for any other ideals to be brought up. The spiral of silence is a concept that intrigued me. It is based on the assumption that people know that their opinions will be ridiculed by the media don’t speak. People become afraid to speak out even if they are right. Only the media gets heard and the spiral continues. This spiral allows for only on group of thought and one set of rules even if they are wrong or can be improved upon. Those that know better don’t speak out because of the backlash they would get even if they are right. The media allows only the dominant ideals to be promoted as they are the ideals that brought the media to it’s power. This keeps great ideas and ideals from being heard and implemented making any change much harder to accomplish.
The world we inhabit is much less natural as we have socially created our reality. The media controls how our world is created by selecting what events and news items we see and therefore create our reality. Media is a human creation and in turn the media constructs reality for the audience. This was something that I had not realized it had never been brought up before this class but really intrigued me as our world has been defined by media. Regardless of how we think our life should go the media tells us how we should live our lives through the dominant ideals they are constantly supporting and promoting. We don’t see the world how it is unless we go everywhere and see it for ourselves as everything we see in the news and media is a projection not a reflection so we only see what the media wants us too. This leads to a number of things like misrepresentation and mean world syndrome.
Race is not natural it is a social concept, created by society. There are no human subspecies we are all the same. Race is a modern idea that has no genetic basis. Slavery predates race and freedom and race were born together. Even though skin colour is only skin deep the colour of ones skin has justified social inequalities as natural. Race is not biological but racism still exists. There is more variation within races not between them. The reason for different skin colours is the amount of melanin which is a substance in your outer layer of skin that various depending on the amount and strength of sun light you receive. Race shouldn’t be anything but we should be able to say things like white, black, brown and what ever skin colour you have as a way to describe how the person looks its just skin colour not who you are. Society believes that your skin colour brings with it a personality. I don’t know if it will ever change but I would like to see it change.
A concept of mass media that really stuck out to me was Narcotizing Dysfunction which essentially means that the media lulls people into passivity. Narcotizing dysfunction is a dysfunction of the media that the Critical Perspective brings up. According to the Critical Perspective people or the audience are overwhelmed by the volume of news and therefore people withdraw from involvement in public issues. The audience of the mass media obtain so much information that they being to believe that they are doing things to solve the problem. The audience has come to believe that intellectual involvement is a substitute for active involvement. In other words the audience has begun to believe that talking and thinking about an issue is enough to have it changed, the audience is less actively involved. The problem here is that the mass media brings the audience into passivity. What stuck out to me the most about this is how the mass media affects how we think and act. It has taken control of our lives to an extent which is unnerving.
With the media being so central in our society it is not that surprising how it can make or brake you. Reverse status conferral is when someone is brought up in the media for bad reasons. These people get their one second of infamy. These people are usually outside the mainstream and are put in the media for some form of conflict. A excellent example for this is The Jerry Springer Show which we have all heard of. If not some of the titles for episodes are “Who’s baby is it?” or “I slept with my brother’s boyfriend” just ridiculous tabloid shows. It shows how some people will do just about anything to get their 15 minutes of fame even though what they are getting their fame for is not something desirable or valuable to the society. I found this very interesting in part because I had not realized how ridiculous the concept is and how desperate people are for fame even though it is “Shfame” and not something one should be proud of.