I. Purpose This assignment invites you to critically analyze representations of masculinity and gender roles in popular media. Drawing upon the concept of hegemonic masculinity, a cornerstone of critical masculinity studies, you are asked to choose a popular TV show, series of music videos by a particular artist, social media forum, or film to analyze. The goal of the assignment is to become more critically aware of gendered patterns of representation and reflexive about our own reception of representations of gender and gender roles in media. Please note: intersectional analysis of hegemonic masculinity, meaning the intersection of race, class, gender and other factors at the local, regional and global levels is welcome here. II. The Assignment A. Technical specifications: 4-5 pages, 11-12 point font, MLA referenced (or equivalent, noted on first page), with page #’s, your name, student #, my name, the course and section #. Pictures and figures optional, (be advised that they do not contribute towards the page count). Your final paper should be a word document submitted via Blackboard. B. Method: Your first step is to identify an object for analysis, then to select a reasonable sample of the media you wish to analyze: i. TV show: pick something you are already familiar with. You will want to choose 1-2 iconic episodes/scenes to analyze in greater detail for the assignment as representative of the major themes of representation in the show. ii. Music videos: Pick a particular artist and limit yourself to 1-3 videos. iii. Social media forum or site: Pick a site you are already familiar with. Focus in on a few posts that are representative of some of the recurring themes of the site/feed to analyze in greater detail. iv. Film: pick a film you are already familiar with. Watch it again thinking about how masculinity, femininity and gender roles are represented. Pick 1-3 scenes to analyze in greater detail. GSWS 1101 – J Yard 2 Take detailed notes while you watch/scroll. Try to identify themes in the representations. Organize your observations into a paper that fit the criteria below. C. Content specifications for the write up, please include: i. An original title that indicates both the media you are analyzing and something about your critical perspective on it, e.g. “’Pour It Up, Drink it Up, Live it Up, Give it Up’: Masculinity and Alcohol in Pop Music Videos”; ii. A description of the media: what is it? Where can it be found? Is it current/ongoing or a past example? Information about the creators (e.g. name of the tv show, where it aired, the years that a show ran, biography of the main writers/director where relevant) iii. A description of the content: Choose a couple of illustrative examples from your media to discuss in detail. Look to the background readings for examples of how to do this, i.e. select lyrics to transcribe and a video scene to describe to unpack and analyze; transcribe a scene from a film or TV show to discuss in greater detail; choose a few posts from a social media feed to describe and analyze. iv. An analysis of the content: Provide an outline of your understanding of the concept of hegemonic masculinity and how it can be applied as a tool for the analysis of your media. You are welcome to critique the limitations of the concept. How does the form of masculinity in the media you are analyzing circulate locally, regionally, and globally? How does the form of masculinity depicted in your media reinforce or contest gender inequalities? How is the form of masculinity depicted in your media complicated by intersectional dimensions of class, race, age, ability, history, economic context, and so on (refer back to our unit on intersectional analysis). What would you like your reader to understand about the media you have chosen and its’ actual and potential influence over its audience? v. Some take away conclusions: What have you learned by looking at this media so closely? How did you method of analysis lend support to your claims? What questions for further research does this raise for you? How did this work cause you to reflect upon how some of your own behaviors and beliefs about gender and gender roles have been shaped by the media your consume?


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