To what extent is human identity increasingly mediated
To what extent is human identity increasingly mediated?Suggested essay planCase study/point Theorist/theory/quoteIntro State that you are discussing African American malesand females at the startUse Manny Otiko to frame your essay and show youunderstand the complexities of naming this social group.(Use document from blog)http://a2mediaaquinas2012.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/using-manny-otiko-to-introduce-your.htmlPick a term to use throughout the essay e.g. BlackAmericans“African Americans no longer consider themselvesAfrican: they celebrate homecoming, Thanksgivingand the Super bowl”“[my] girlfriend found the term “black” offensive”-being asked to mediate his ID to make others feelbetter.Part 1 Address the question: is ID increasinglyYour point: Black American ID is still mediated bymainstream media outlets but the proliferation of socialmedia and cheap editing technologies has enabledaudiences to create, moderate and reshaperepresentations of their social group, removing powerfrom media outlets. Audiences are increasingly able tomediate their own identitymediated? David Gauntlett: Media 2.0• Audiences are able to create and share theirown, unmediated representations throughsocial media. By sharing media, audiencesencourage each other and repeat thebehaviour, leading to new representations.• These representations are untouched by mediaoutlets and don’t tend to be exploited for profite.g. Naptural 85 is one of the main voices in thenatural hair movement, has 240K followers and20m views but is not part of mainstream media.Her rep is unfiltered by media owners.
Part 2 Historical reps:Coon and blackface were originally used as a way ofcontrolling how Black Americans were seen by massaudiences. As they were repeated and reinforced it alsobecame part of the way Black Americans sawthemselves. Lazy, dim-witted, hungry, musical, happy,simple, oversexed. White media owners had their ownagenda and represented Black Americans in a way thatbenefitted them. (Fear of the black man while reducingthe threat of the black man- Chomsky, propagandamodel)Hottentot Venus: rep of black American women hasbeen filtered and sexualised by white males. Womenmade to fit ideals of what is considered attractiveaccording to the male gaze. Beyonce, Rihanna, hip hopvideos show mediated images of women that objectifyand homogenise women. These reps encourage womento think of themselves misogynistically. Women arerewarded for behaving in a way that objectifies themwhich encourages others to do the same.Drake- Practice: audience member rewarded fordancing provocativelyAlso, use twerking videos for authentic audienceresponse to sexualised images of femalesGramsci: hegemony• Cultural elite- rich, white media owners createreps from their perspective• Black Americans have never been able to createtheir own reps, how they have been portrayedin the mainstream has always been controlledby another ethnicity.• Negative representations were constructed as away of making Black Americans feel worthless,thus maintaining status quo.Mulvey: Male gazeBell Hooks: cultural criticism/ pugilistic eroticismButler: gender performancePart 3 Link coon and blackface to rap and hip hop.Mainstream reps of black American males are anupdating of the old reps. (Same characteristics but nomake up) Rep of black males mediated by recordcompanies- by rewarding stars that conform to negativeBell Hooks: cultural criticism• “Rap is diverse, but it is not the social andpolitical music that gets the most attention. It isthe music that promotes pugilistic eroticism andmisogyny that makes the money” corruption of
stereotypes they encourage the repetition of thesecharacteristics and other young black males to followthe same stereotypes. This means that therepresentation is perpetuated and reinforced, harder topurge from the mainstreamFresh Prince: Will, Carlton, Geoffrey, Uncle Phil alldemonstrate facets of the coon stereotype but all arerewarded by the audience for their behaviour, especiallyWill. Ice tray, however is branded as transgressive and isfeared by Uncle Phil and Aunt Vivienne as he becomesinvolved with their (pure) daughter, Hilarythe art form from a form of self expression anda way of keeping kids off the street and awayfrom crime (Scratch 2002).• Hip hop was originally a way for black,oppressed communities to express their angerat social injustice through art and mediate theirown identity.• Once it became successful record companiesbecame involved and mediated the identity ofrappers and hip hop artists so it became whatwe know todayGramsci: hegemony• perpetuation of negative stereotypes maintainsstatus quo and makes mediators morepowerful, representations are regarded as factby audiencesPart 4 • “Gangsta” flak via social media. Audiences takingimages of young black males treating the“gangsta” stereotype as a lifestyle choice andridiculing them by creating memes.• Gangsta definitions from Urban Dictionary• Gangsta signs poster that ridicule gang signs• Funny or Die: “Racist Siri advert” that drawsattention to coon stereotype. Satirically makesthe point that black American men are stillbranded as hungry, athletic, “gangsta”, oversexedand by making humorous references to thestereotype shows the audience that this isChomsky: propaganda model- flak, brandingGauntlett: media 2.0
incorrect.Part 5 Naptural85@fantasyhairweaves• Both use social media to create representations ofthemselves that are unfiltered and unmediated bymainstream media outlets• Naptural85 created her blog and YouTube channelas a response to mainstream media reps of blackAmerican women as they were becomingincreasingly false and harder to attain. In her videosshe teaches that natural hair is beautiful and worthcaring for, and that audiences don’t have to changein order to be considered attractive. She brings herideal self closer to her real self.• @fantasyhairweaves builds a more escapistrepresentation of herself by selling wigs and weavesand promoting a culture of chasing “white” ideals ofbeauty and conforming to the mainstream malegaze. By posting photos of bundles of hair that shehas access to and photos of her clients on twittershe is showing the audience that the celebrity idealsthey aspire to are attainable.• Both women encourage audiences to repeat andspread the representation, forming new,unmediated parts of the black American femalecollectiveGauntlettButlerMulveyBell Hooks (straightening our hair)
Conclusion Human ID is mediated but audiences are increasinglyable to mediate their own identity without theinterference of mainstream media outletsHowever, some audience members (e.g.@fantasyhairweaves) choose to create an unfiltered repthat does conform to mainstream ideals.