Charity Hitt MMC 6660 Blog

University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications

Archive for the ‘Analyze This’ Category

Analyze This Week 9

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The connection between Cooley’s The Process of Social Change and the phenomenon inspired by Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique as discussed in the review Books as Bombs as well as Stephanie Coontz review, is one that is obvious in terms of the concept of a dominant discourse.  In Cooley’s article, he discusses that even before the media existed, the idea of a dominant discourse, or ‘common sense’ way of life was prevalent amidst societies. In early societies, there existed communities of discorse, and if you did not understand your neighbor, Cooley explains, you had three options; separate, enslave, or go to war.  He states “A meagre environment limited the development of innate tendencies and capacities, and the comparative sameness of thought and action reflected the narrowness of the general life,” (pg. 76).

Centuries later we arrive at the 1950s, where the dominant discourse of a woman’s role being in the home was not only assumed as ‘common sense’ by society, but was constantly reinforced by the media.  It was Betty Friedan who challenged this dominant discourse with her ground breaking book The Feminine Mystique.  In his examination of the effects that this and other books like it of the time had on society, Louis Menand sums up why these books were so monumental in challenging the dominant discouse of the 1950s, saying, “These are books whose significance exceeds anything they actually said. For many people, it doesn’t even matter what they said or why they were written. What matters is that, when the world turned, they were there.”  Because they were there, and because they challenged a yet unchallenged notion in society,  the dominant discourse now says that I am able to pursue my education and career, while still desiring and having a husband and a family, if I so choose.

Menand and Coontz acknowledge that there are several issues with Friedan’s book, from ignoring the model of the African American home to the outdated notion that overbearing mothers were causing their sons to be homosexuals,  however both also acknowledge that The Feminine Mystique encouraged and established a new community of discourse among housewives in the 1960s, who realized they were not alone in their feelings of repression.  This spurred the women’s liberation movement in which Friedan played an integral role, and the community of discourse that viewed women as equals expanded and established itself as the dominant discourse in today’s society, an unthinkable achievement in the 1950s.

Written by charityhitt

October 22, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Posted in Analyze This

Analyze This Week 5

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1. The censorship issue in China that this article discusses is the censorship of social media posts by members of the Chinese society.  Contrary to what would be believed, many posts that deal with criticism of the government and government authorities are not more greatly censored than other content.  The main subject of content on social media that is censored are those that seek to encourage change or rebellion against government authority.

The Chinese government censors internet searches through Google and other search engines from pulling up search terms that they deem a threat to the state.  Recently, in June all search terms on Chinese search engines related to the Tiananmen Square Protests from June of 1989 were blocked by the Chinese government who did not want the Chinese people to honor the rise against Chinese government that these protests encouraged.

2.Summarizing Journalism in the Global Age-

In this article, the author makes note of John Carey’s famous definition of journalism as democracy, the two words synonymous.  However, increasing globalization and awareness of practices in countries other than America, particularly Western cultures, has shown that using American journalism as a litmus test for appropriate actions of the press in non-democratic societies is a comparison that is increasingly presumptuous and unfair in western culture where freedom of the press is not guaranteed.  Does this, by definition of journalism as democracy, not constitute journalism? Recent literature also points to a large disconnect in the idealistic teachings of journalism, and the actual practices of journalism in a democratic society, which increasingly answers to advertisers, corporations, and government regulations.  Recent literature by journalism scholars attempts to establish models of journalism that are not so constricted to the Anglo-American model that currently permeates the discourse of journalism.

Written by charityhitt

September 24, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Posted in Analyze This

Analyze This Quiz Week 3

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1. B

2. C

3. A

4. D

5. D

Written by charityhitt

September 17, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Posted in Analyze This

Analyze This Quiz Class 2

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Structure vs. Agency.

If you ask me if I’m a Christian, I have no trouble telling you that I am; in fact I’ll pretty much tell anyone that will listen.  I feel like the commandments of Christianity directly relate to the concept of structure vs. agency.  While as a human being, I have the free agency to do relatively whatever I please, whenever I please, the confines of the Christian values and structures to which I aspire in everyday life limit and guide the actions that I choose.

In the media industry, the rules of structure vs. agency are constantly applicable.  In a news organization, often owned by corporations who are responsible to share holders for making a profit, reporters and editors do not have the free agency to report on whatever they like.  They are responsible to the structure enforced by those corporations and shareholders, usually in the pursuit of a profit, to deliver news that will equate to ratings.  The conundrum of responsible reporting and moral agency vs. structure looking only at “the bottom line” is a media issue prevalent in society.

Written by charityhitt

September 10, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Posted in Analyze This