Diversity and Influence

Diversity and Influence

Choose ONE of the prompts to respond to:

Option 1:

For this option, we will explore the influence of media on our attitudes and behaviors by examining our connections with fictional characters. We will reflect on how these characters fit into or challenge social norms related to race, ethnicity, gender, and other cultural issues. By reflecting on personal connections with media characters and analyzing their influence on attitudes, behaviors, and social norms, we gain insights into the power of media representation and its potential to shape individuals and society. Sharing thoughts and examples with classmates in the discussion forum allows for a broader understanding of diverse experiences and perspectives.

  1. Reflect on personal identification with a media character:
  • Have you ever identified with a character from the media? If yes, explain why and how you feel this connection.
  • Example: I strongly connect with Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series because she is intelligent, determined, and unafraid to stand up for what she believes in. I see myself in her as a bookish and ambitious person.

2. Influence of the chosen character on attitudes and behaviors:

  • Discuss how the chosen character influences your attitudes and behaviors:
  • Example: Hermione’s character influences me to value knowledge, embrace bravery, and strive for equality. When exposed to media featuring her, I find myself more motivated to learn, speak up against injustice, and challenge stereotypes.
  • Reflect on behavioral and cognitive changes influenced by the character:
  • Example: I notice that I tend to exhibit more assertiveness and a sense of responsibility in my own life when I resonate with Hermione’s qualities. I become more mindful of the impact of my actions and the importance of treating others fairly.

3. Character’s role in conforming to or challenging social norms:

  • Analyze how the chosen character fits into or challenges social norms:
  • Example: Hermione challenges gender norms by breaking stereotypes associated with female characters in literature. Her intelligence and leadership abilities defy traditional expectations, inspiring others to question gender-based limitations.
  • Consider the character’s portrayal and societal expectations:
  • Example: Hermione’s portrayal in media emphasizes the significance of gender equality and diversity. By showcasing a strong, capable female character, media representation can challenge societal biases and promote inclusivity.

4. Impact of the character’s portrayal on societal attitudes and behaviors:

  • Discuss the potential influence of the chosen character on others’ thinking and actions:
  • Example: Hermione’s portrayal in media has the potential to shape societal attitudes and behaviors by presenting a powerful role model for young readers. Her influence can inspire individuals to challenge norms, embrace their unique qualities, and strive for social change.
  • Highlight the lessons individuals can learn by exploring this character:
  • Example: Through exploring Hermione’s character, individuals can learn the importance of intelligence, courage, and social justice. They can be encouraged to question societal norms, promote equality, and embrace their strengths and capabilities.

Option 2:

For this discussion, you will choose a children’s book, movie, or television series that celebrates diversity. The focus will be on analyzing an underlying theme or representation of diversity and its relation to one theory from the course. By analyzing the chosen media’s underlying themes of diversity and relating them to course theories, you can gain a deeper understanding of the significance of representation and its impact on children’s perceptions and attitudes toward diversity.

1. Provide a brief summary of the chosen media:

  • Example: Disney Junior’s Puppy Dog Pals: Puppy Dog Pals is a show that follows two pug puppy brothers, Bingo and Rolly, on adventurous missions. They live with their human, Bob, an inventor for puppy products, their kitty sister, Hissy, their robot brother, A.R.F., and their fish sister, Oliva. Together, they navigate various challenges and save the day.

2. Discuss TWO underlying themes of diversity in the chosen media:

  • Example: “The Dreidel Dilemma” episode of Puppy Dog Pals celebrates Hanukkah by featuring Bingo and Rolly helping their furry neighbor friend, Keia, deliver her unique dreidel to her grandparent’s house. The episode highlights the traditions and importance of Hanukkah, showcasing cultural diversity.

3. Discuss the lessons children can learn from being exposed to this specific media

  • Example: Children can learn about different cultural practices, respect for diversity, and the value of helping others through episodes like “The Dreidel Dilemma.” It encourages empathy and understanding among young viewers.

4. Highlight surprising aspects or multiple types of diversity explored:

  • Example: The episode may surprise viewers by introducing them to Hanukkah traditions, broadening their knowledge, and promoting inclusivity. It showcases religious diversity alongside other forms of diversity represented by the animal characters.

5. Relate one of the course theories to the chosen media:

  • Example: The Cultivation Theory can be applied to analyze how media representations, like Puppy Dog Pals, shape children’s perceptions of diversity and promote inclusive values.

Answer preview for Diversity and Influence


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