backReturn to Unit Two: MWF

Unit Two, Day 20 - Wednesday

Class Goal: To illustrate what kinds of directions cultural analyses might take and how they might be proven/developed.

Connection to Course Goal: CSOW with current paper--how these ways of thinking and developing might be applied to the context of their paper; emphasis on critical thinking about texts and contexts

  1. Group work: Divide the class into 4 groups and assign them the task below. Tell them to use their homeworks as a beginning. (If you want to check their understanding, collect these homeworks at the end of class.) Reproduce the questions on either a handout (one for each group) or overhead. If you use a handout, make an overhead of each one so you can show the rest of the class the questions while the group is speaking. Give them 15 minutes for activity.

Group 1

  1. According to Katz, what specific cultural norms are being reflected by advertising? (i.e. cultural reproduction) List all of them with a corresponding page # for where each is brought up.
  2. What reasons does Katz offer for the portrayals of masculinity in advertising? What does he think the cause is behind such portrayals? Why is it, in other words, that men in our culture need or like such images? (i.e. cultural function)
  3. What effect does seeing masculinity portrayed in this way have on men reading these ads according to Katz? What effect do these ads have on our culture's overall view of masculinity?
  4. Draw a picture of the relationship Katz seems to be assuming among advertising, culture, and readers of ads. What affects each?

Group 2

  1. According to Douglas, what specific cultural values or beliefs are reflected in the advertising which appears during the X-files? What are we being "told" by these ads? (i.e. cultural reproduction)
  2. Why does Douglas see the ads as so important to interpreting the message of the X-files? What does she assume about the relationship between the ads and the show?
  3. What effect does watching both the ads and the show together have on the viewer? What is the combination of the two "teaching" us?
  4. Draw a picture of the relationship Katz seems to be assuming among advertising/television shows, culture, and viewers of both. What affects each?

Groups 3 and 4 (note: skip these groups if you are running out of time)

  1. What is the thesis/main point/purpose of the essay?
  2. What evidence is used in support of the statements the author makes about culture? List all the kinds of evidence used.
  3. What evidence is used in support of the statements about advertising and/or the t.v. show? List all the kinds of evidence used.
  4. Evaluate one specific analysis of an ad and/or How effective is this analysis? What could make it better?
  1. Discussion of Group Work (25 min.)

Cultural Discussion: Begin with groups 1 and 2, asking questions and summarizing after each presentation. Try and highlight in this discussion both how culture works (its effect on viewers, its relationship to cultural norms) and the function of cultural analysis for the reader (i.e. to highlight the "unseen" so the influence might be changed). Some possible follow-up questions for the whole class after each presentation are below.

[Warning: donít try to do them all; the best questions will focus on the goals above but emerge from what the students present. Remember your goal here isnít necessarily to summarize the essay and/or to get it "Right" but to explore the topics with the students. The accuracy of their reading of the essay is not the main point in this unit-instead, the readings serve to get their thinking started and to demonstrate how analysis might work]:

Katz - Group 1

Douglas - Group 2

Summary of Discussion of Cultural Issues:

Summary of Writing Discussion: Keep ways of analyzing and need for proof in mind. Will come back to it in the next 2-3 classes.

  1. Homework for Friday: Reminder to read hooks, RRA 483-90 and Blue and Naden, RRA p. 314-30 and write a response to question #4 in RRA at end of hooks.