Class Goal: To introduce logical development via cause-effect; connect development to exigence of paper (i.e. the "so what" for the audience); to illustrate effect as a concern of exigence and audience
Connection to Course Goal: Emphasize writing for a context with a purpose and development as a means to that purpose; communicating critical literacy readings to larger public
- Reminder of Conferences: Remind students about conferences on Monday and that class is canceled for them. Prepare a list of times you can be available on Mon. and Tues. for conferences listed by 15-20 minute intervals (usually at least 5 more times should be listed than you have class members). Pass the list around to have people sign-up as you complete other activities. Have those who absolutely cannot make any of the times listed wait until the end of class to speak to you about it. (2-3 min.)
- Write-to-Learn on PHG Reading: Ask students to quickly review p. 256-65 which they read for this class and make a list of all the aspects of an explaining essay they think apply to the current assignment. (Another option here would be to ask students to quickly write a paragraph on how "explaining" as a purpose is relevant to their current assignment.) (5 min.)
- Discuss Write-to-learn and Cause-effect : Have a few students share their responses and begin a list on the board of what aspects of explaining apply to current assignment. If students do not come up with it on their own, explain how the paper is essentially an "explaining" one since the "so what" for the audience is typically to understand the influence of a show they might watch (reproduction), reasons why they watch of which they might be unaware (function), or how a show that seems to be entertainment is actually a cultural change agent (resistance). Illustrate how such an explaining purpose involves definition (i.e. defining a certain aspect of culture) and a cause-effect analysis (i.e. explaining the relationship of culture to viewers). The following visual arrangement might help here to illustrate the multiple levels of cause-effect in this paper It might be helpful to go back to Gray and Rapping as examples to illustrate this:
Culture (cause) à t.v. show (effect)
t.v. show (effect becomes cause) à viewer’s thinking (effect)
In terms of organizing their papers:
Intro Culture (cause): what norm is set up? What need does the show fulfill?
à tv show (effect) conclusion
**REMIND students at this point that the "effect" of their analyses can be either positive or negative. They need not, like hooks, see the reproduction of specific cultural norms as having a negative effect. They simply have to offer reasons, in the conclusion of their paper, for the kind of effect they imagine their show having.
- Test their Understanding : Prepare an overhead of sample thesis statements from`Wednesday’s class. Ask students to examine each one-by-one (cover up the others as you work on one) to explain how the thesis fits into the cause-effect relationship above. (e.g. what is the cultural "cause"--i.e. myth, cultural norm, etc.--being analyzed; what is the "effect" of this aspect of the culture in terms of the content of the show?; what effect might this new cause (the show) have on viewers who watch the show?) (10 min.)
Closure to Cause-Effect Discussion: Point students to "collecting" questions on p. 286 of PHG (the "why" questions) as a way of helping them think about the relationship between culture and the t.v. program they’re analyzing, and the relationship between the program and its viewers.
Transition from Cause-Effect to Essays: As a class, we’ve discussed many cause-effect relationships at the first level (i.e. culture-t.v. program) since it will constitute the majority of your paper, but we haven’t talked much about the second level: program - audience. This second level, while a smaller part of the paper, is key to addressing the audience since the reason (i.e. "so what") they might look at such an analysis will be to understand better either the show itself or their own interest/fascination with it. The two essays in RRA for today give us an idea of what some of these effects might be.
- Discuss effect on viewers in Soto and Lewis - (20 min.) Lead the students in a discussion which focuses on how t.v. and advertising affects the lives of the two authors differently. Allow them a chance to talk about the effect of t.v. and advertising in their own lives when appropriate. Soto will be the more difficult essay for them, so if you’re short on time, start here. Reminder: The goal is to have them see that these two essays exemplify analyses of the effect of a tv show on viewers.
- What kind of analysis is Lewis doing, in terms of the three types?
- How do we know? Ask them for proof of the main focus of each essay.
- What reasons are offered for why the authors wrote these pieces? What do you think their purpose was/is?
- As we saw the last time we read, Soto believes in and tries to reproduce the images he sees on t.v. Why doesn't the reality of his life change his feelings about t.v.?
- What does he suggest about why the t.v. images are so powerful?
- Would you characterize his experience of "reproduction" as positive or negative?
- Why does he seem as influenced by t.v. as Gaines yet not give as positive a reading of this influence?
- What "effect", overall, would you say t.v. shows like Leave it to Beaver had on Soto as a boy?
- Are these kinds of effects typical? Do most people internalize t.v. images as "normal" or only kids?
- When have they ever been influenced by t.v. in ways similar to Soto’s?
- If Lewis' reading is focused on reproduction, how is she influenced by the Fila ad?
- Why is she not simply influenced negatively by the ad? What makes her experience different than Gaines or Soto?
- Do you think that Lewis would have the same "dismissive" reaction if she hadn't analyzed the ad so thoroughly? Is she implying analysis helps us see other things?
- Is there any way to tell how every viewer will react?
- If not, how can you make claims about the second part of effect in your papers (i.e. how viewers will react)?
- Discuss how effect can be proven -Ask students to consider why kind of evidence Lewis and Soto use to discuss the effect of t.v./ads on them. Then, extend the discussion to other possible ways to make claims about this aspect of a cultural analysis. Try to generate the following list with them: (5 min.)
- personal experience
- observed reactions of friends, family members, etc.
- popularity of the show (ratings, etc.)
- intended audience (through analysis of advertising) and what effect it "might" have
- claims that are tentatively stated--i.e. logical analyses about what possible effects the show may have (e.g. If the viewers of ER are assumed to be middle-class, as the ads indicate, then a show which illustrates the caring and professionalism of doctors and nurses will most likely be reassuring, reminding them that despite the recent lawsuits against doctors and problems with medical plans that they will still receive the best care possible.)