C h a p t e r s 3 & 6 PA RT I I I Globalizing the Body Politics &Jamming Media and Popular Culture
WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF POPULAR CULTURE?Does Everyone “Read”Pop Culture The Same?
Consuming Popular CultureMeaning is never FIXED, but is always being CONSTRUCTEDwithin various contexts through encoding and decoding. Stuart Hall Decoded Encoded Message (1980) Message Encoding Sender Receiver Decoding Encoding cultural textsENCODING: the process of creating a message.DECODING: the process of interpreting a message.Various industries prepare reader profiles, portrayals of readership demographics, andrespond to the cultural and political needs of cultural identities in a variety of ways.
Consuming Popular Culture DOMINANT NEGOTIATED OPPOSITIONAL READING READING OR HEGEMONIC READING The viewer/reader generally shares the The reader brings an Preferred reading preferred meaning of alternative the texts interpretation of the Reader/viewer decodes the They also resist and text message in the way modify the encoded Resist the dominant intended by the meaning reading of the text encoder They negotiate the meaning based on their Shaped by the social Consistent with the positionality, interests, position of the reader dominant beliefs, and experiences norms, and ideologies
Pop Culture & Representation RACE, GENDER, CLASS INTERSECTIONAL ANALYSIS The Hunger Games PAY ATTENTION TO:• Stereotypical, Misrepresentation & Under Representation of Non- Dominant Groups• Gender & Sexuality
THE I HAVE READ THESE BOOKS OR WATCHED THISHUNGER FILM A. Yes GAMES B. No
FACTS ON THE POPULARITY OF THE HUNGER GAMES• 2006: Collins signed a six- • The first book originally had a figure deal for three books 50,000 first printing. with Scholastic. • It was bumped up twice to• September 14, 2008: The 200,000 copies. Hunger Games was first published as a hardcover in • February 11, 2010: The the U.S. Hunger Games had sold• November 2008: The Hunger 800,000 copies Games became a New York Times Best Seller. • The rights to the novel had been sold in 38 countries.• December 2008: An audiobook version was released.
MORE FACTS ON THE POPULARITY OF THE HUNGER GAMES PRINT E-BOOK• September 2010: The Hunger • Suzanne Collins is the First Games was on The New York young adult author to sell over Times list for over 1 million Kindle ebooks. 100 consecutive weeks. • She is the 6th author to join• When The Hunger Games film the "Kindle Million Club.” was released, the book had been on USA Today’s best- • March 2012, announced that selling books list for 135 Collins had become the best- consecutive weeks. selling Kindle author of all• The publisher reported 26 time. million Hunger Games trilogy • Collins had written 29 of the books in print, including movie 100 most-highlighted passages tie-in books. in Kindle ebooks.
THE ECONOMIC FACTOR The Hunger Games posted a record breaking opening weekend, netting an estimated $155 million (Rolling Stone March 26, 2012) The Hunger Games has earned $337.1 million after 24 days and seems headed for a final domestic total of about $375 million. (CNN April 16, 2012) The film is nearing the $200 million mark overseas, and its worldwide total stands at $531 million. (CNN April 16, 2012)
ADDITIONAL ECONOMIC PROFITEERSACCORDING TO SEEKING ALPHA ONMARCH 22, 2012:8 additional companies stand to profit from The Hunger Games: 1. Amazon 2. Barnes & Noble 3. Cinemark 4. Hot Topic 5. IMAX Corporation 6. Netflix 7. Regal Entertainment 8. Scholastic
TODAY’S THEMESPOWER Pop culture represents SELF stereotypes that are connected toOTHERS social judgments of others.
HUNGER GAMES & CASTING According to Jezebel March 26 2012, the book What Race or Ethnicity describes Katniss with the following do you imagine Katniss characteristics. to be? A. White or Katniss Everdeen European Lives in District 12 Descent Coal-mining country; Appalachians. B. African or Black Olive skin, Descent “Straight, black hair,” C. Asian or Pacific Islander Descent Grey eyes D. Latina or Persian "small in stature" and Descent light (in weight) for her age (16) E. Any of the One of the smallest tributes in her games. above.
IS THIS WHO YOU IMAGINED?A.YesB.No
ACCORDING TO RACEBENDING.COMDebra Zane Casting distributed a casting call that read:“…actresses submitting for the role “should beCaucasian, between ages 15 and 20, who couldportray someone ‘underfed but strong,’ and ‘naturallypretty underneath her tomboyishness.”
Jennifer Lawrence May Be Up For Hunger Games Lead, But There’s Controversy Too“First of all: Caucasian? Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins iscareful to write Katniss as being of ambiguous ethnicity, withstraight dark hair, olive skin and gray eyes– basically, she could befrom any race. It’s not really a surprise that they’d want to cast awhite girl in the role, given the myopic way Hollywood views raceand who sells tickets, but kind of shocking that they’dcompletely exclude auditioners of other races.” -CinemaBlend
Oh No They Didn’t: The Hunger Games Casting for ‘Underfed’ White Teenage Girls“The question isn’t, ‘Is Katniss white?’ but ‘Could Katniss possibly be anythingother than white?’In casting only for Caucasian performers, the filmmakers seem to close the dooron that possibility.“…is that move warranted by the material or simply another case of Hollywoodwhitewashing? There aren’t many good reasons for excluding non-whiteperformers from consideration based on Collins’ books and characters, asidefrom the desire to appeal to the dominant paradigm in the film’s marketingmaterials. If Collins is on board with this and has any argument in favor of thecasting move, she should start explaining.” -Movieline
April of 2011, Suzanne Collins told Entertainment Weekly that her characters……Were not particularly intended to be biracial. It is a timeperiod where hundreds of years have passed from now.Theres been a lot of ethnic mixing. But I think I describethem as having dark hair, grey eyes, and sort of olive skin.…But then there are some characters in the book whoare more specifically described.
IDENTITY & REPRESENATION IN THE HUNGER GAMESOn page 45 of The Hunger Games, Collins describes thecharacter Rue as:…a twelve-year-old girl from District 11. She has darkbrown skin and eyes…What Race or Ethnicity do you imagine this character to be? A. White or European Descent B. African or Black Descent C. Asian or Pacific Islander Descent D. Middle Eastern or Persian Descent E. Unsure
IS THIS WHO YOU IMAGINED?A.YesB.No
TWITTER RESPONSES TO RUE’S CASTING
COLLINS & ROSS ON CASTINGIn regards to Thresh and Rue as characters, Collins said, "Theyre African-American.”Director Gary Ross added:Thresh and Rue will be [played by actors who are] African-American. Its a multi-racial culture and the film will reflect that.But I think Suzanne didnt see a particular ethnicity to Gale andKatniss when she wrote it, and thats something weve talkedabout a lot.
CONCLUDING THOUGHTS People use popular culture to reaffirm their own cultural identities.• Sometimes due to a conflict in culture values and cultural identities, people actively resist certain popular culture texts.• Much of the resistance stems from concerns about the representation of various social groups.