Wednesday, November 30, 2005

11/30 Mini-research project

In today's class, you will be working in groups, to do some mini-research projects on our new topic: gender & equality. I am going to throw a lot of information at you, you will get to do some research.
First, you might need to do some brushing up on the terms we will be discussing. I would suggest a trip to "Wikipedia" my favorite online encyclopedia.
A couple of starter pages to look at, to familiarize yourself with.
"Gender Studies" a fairly short and bland read on a very general topic.
One more. In this reading on Feminism, you will be introduced to early feminist theory and the name Mary Wollstonecraft who
"... is one of the few writer[s] before the 19th century that can be called [a] feminist. By modern standards, her metaphor of women as nobility, the elite of society, coddled, fragile and in danger of intellectual and moral sloth, does not sound like a feminist argument. Wollstonecraft believed that both sexes contributed to this situation and took it for granted that women had considerable power over men."
Lots to see, plenty of potential topics of discussion in the above idea alone.
Another interesting section is the "feminism in many forms" and it might be fun to browse the "major sub-types of feminism" as well. Take a look.

Neither of these is the final word on the subject, you can and I suggest that you should do your own further research on either or both of these fields. There are links at the bottom of these pages to help you along.
You will have about 10-15minutes to familiarize yourself with this information. Talk with your classmates, discuss what you read/skimmed and then we will move on. You will probably need to do some further reading on your own.

icon_arrow.gif at the end of the 15minutes, we will briefly discuss as a class.

icon_arrow.gif Second, a general overview of the topic and it's relation to film. The site is called "media matters." This is a non-profit Canadian group that creates a lot of media awareness and educational materials. The information we will look at is fairly basic, but again, it is meant only to give you a general background in the subject, or to remind you of what you already know. The idea is for you to do your own research and learn more on the subject on your own.

"stereotyping in the movies" is actually a site for parents to teach their kids about these issues. I am sure there are similar sites here in Japan and if you know of any, I would love to learn about them. It is basic, but informative, as are the exercises.
"Media Stereotyping" Is a good starting point for researching about specific groups and their portrayal on TV and in film.

You might also look at this: "A panel on strong women characters in SF" which is a transcript of four authors discussing this specific topic in a written, online chat format. It is very conversational and informative and since the panel are writers and scientists, it makes an intersting read. Take a look and feel free to discuss what you are reading with your partner.

icon_arrow.gif You will have about 30minutes to look over these three sites. I don't expect you to get through all of it, but I expect you will have made some significant progress. You will want to finish reading them on your own later. We will again, briefly discuss as a class, (asking questions is good).

icon_arrow.gif Finally before we leave today, I want you to decide which reading your will be working on for next week. post your group and your topic to the this topic along with any questions you have. The readings below will lead to a blogger assignment due by next Wednesday. Here, you will work in groups and focus on one of these read it, and do further reasearch. If your group decides it does not wish to work on the topic chosen in class, present other options and I will be willing to change your group's focus. Below are some possible directions for your assignment. These assignments all require group work and further research.

Your job is to break into 5 groups of 5 and working together, create a forum topic by next week about the information you researched, and the new information you found.
Your goal is to present the information your group has found to the class. you will have time to share information on Monday in class (after we have discussed Friday's film). Presentations will be given on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. The group will create a topic on the forum and each student will need to post some information that helps the rest of the students understand your groups' specific topic. The presenations are short, but I expect everyone to participate. Non-participants, (no speaking, abasent, or little added information) will get to present what they have learned from this assignment in written form. This will entail a 3page writing assignment, or receiving a zero on this (one of two) presentation assignments -- a very very bad thing for your grades.

Below are some possible places to start your group's research, mostly done on your own, outside of class, and discussed on this blog ( details in class). Again, you do not need to focus on these specific topics, but they are a good starting point.

Possible starting points for Gender. You do not need to use any of these, however, they would be good places to begin.
"Feminist Utopia" is a good place to start for a group(s) thinking of doing a detailed report on some of the different forms of Feminism. Notice that there are many forms of Feminism and there is no possible way a group could do justice to this topic in 15minutes. Your group will want to focus on one (or maybe two similar/contrasting) form(s) of feminisim. Your group members will want to research and focus your research....

Some further articles and readings.
"These chicks kick butt" for a short glance at some strong female characters and
"Construction of a female heroine" for a longer, more in-depth look.
"Gender through the eyes of Disney"

"Fluffy Feminism" The new '21st Century' form of feminism is discussed. It will probably sound very appealing to some. Like the text above, this article should be summarized and developed by the group. They will want to learn more about the different types of feminism that are mentioned in the article, and might mention those as well in their research. You might want to look at "theories defined" which will give you some other sub-categories of feminism to compare with. Also the site at Wikipedia also has a bunch of definition links under the "sub-types" heading.

"Space babe Leia flaunts a rare feminist flair" an article about a middle of the road female character, one with some very strong and atypical characteristics for females and some more common traits too. It is a good read. Here is one article on a popular feminist character. Your groups job will be to read this, summarize the points and then find more information to support the topic online. You want to do more than just summarize the text though, if would be nice if you could expand upon it and show us similar or contradictory images and examples to help us better understand this text. I have some thoughts on further research, if you are interested, ask. As for now, you might want to check out these two link as well to learn more about tough leading women characters. Still, some would object that they are still being objectified. Is this an accurate claim?

Starting points for a presentation exploring race & ethnicity.
"Asian Stereotypes" a website devoted to the portrayal of Asians in film and on TV. The Asian-Americans are a large and influential group in America with a voice. They have often protested stereotypes directed at other asians, here is a brief look at the issue. You might do further research later, using some of their keywords in a search engine. You might look for infromation about this group and how they fight against racial stereotypes in the states. you might also wish to browse the Anti Defamation League's website for more information, or maybe even focus your research on women and men stereotypes in Japanese media (you could look at stereotypes about foreigners or, maybe more interestingly, about stereotypes about Japanese men and women and the way their roles are portrayed in the media).

"Race & Ethnicity" is a website from Washington State University with lots of articles and links to other bits of information. This is a large site that contains a lot of information. It will take some research to use effectively, but it is a gold mine (very valuable) to a group focused on this topic.

"Disney's Portrayal of Culture & Race" Builds on the information given on the Media Matters website (from the second section today). Its a bit light, with not a lot of academic weight, but it could be a good article to get a group focused on a more specific direction.

So there you have it; a rather large assignment and an agenda for the class over the week. I realize there is a lot of information here. Please ask questions if you are confused.
Have a good one, folks.


At 30/11/05 16:01, Blogger yamayu0329 said...

Yuka Yamashita with Chika and Ayumi and Akiko and Rie, We will focus on gender. Our presentation will be about gender role in commercial( Japanese one)

At 30/11/05 16:02, Blogger Mika said...

Mika, Kumi, Aya, Kaori, Eri
We will focus on female characteristics in films.

At 30/11/05 16:04, Blogger yurimorishita said...

Mai Hayashi,Chihiro, Eriko Minami,Mai Ogata,and Yuri
We will research about ethnicity,and we will focus on role of Japanese in Hollywood movies.

At 30/11/05 16:07, Blogger erikomatsumura said...

Kana, Yohei, Takuya, Haruna, Eribou. We chose Ethnisity and we will focus on foreigner in Japanese media. Maybe we will find several kinds of information about this topic. We will watch movie or find TV comercial or pictures. On the other hand, we will research and find out some stereotypes and meaning(why the stereotype is in Japan...)

At 30/11/05 16:53, Blogger seiji ohashi said...

Hi! my name is Seiji! and tomomasa, two megumis and Yuka M. we want to focus on gender role in the film. especially heroine.


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