By Renee Hobbs
Media Literacy IN ACTION
Questioning the Media
Why do people worry about stereotypes?
Examine how stereotypes function in storytelling to create social consensus
Consider how exposure to media during childhood may shape people’s expectations about identity and human behavior
Understand how race, class, and social power are represented in entertainment media
Recognize how self representation in social media enables people to perform identities in order to gain attention and approval
CREATE TO LEARN
Create an Image Slideshow
People construct identity by consuming and creating media
I'M AN ORIGINAL CATCHPHRASE
Choose any form of media that interests you and use it for 1 hour, strategically documenting all
the examples of stereotypes that you find. For example, while playing a video game, watching
a film, or using Instagram, you can capture image screenshots of gender, racial, or occupational
stereotypes. While listening to music, you can write down lyrics in order to document stereotypes
about sexuality and attractiveness, for example.
After you have collected examples, consider the patterns in the examples you found and
then compose a media literacy image slideshow to document your findings. An image slideshow
uses a combination of five or more images, language, and sound to identify patterns in
the representation of race, gender, ethnicity, age, or occupation. You may want to refer to one
or more concepts from this chapter so as to deepen your image slideshow’s value to potential
viewers. Your slideshow should aim to create an “aha!” experience for your viewers. After publishing,
share your creative work with others using the #MLAction hashtag.
VIEW AND DISCUSS
Choose one of the short films from the curated list of short documentaries on race, bias, and identity provided by the New York Times Learning Network’s Film Club.
After viewing, record a brief reflection on Flipgrid using these questions as a guide to your response:
• What moments in this film stood out for you?
• What messages, emotions, or ideas will you take away from this film?
• What questions did this film raise for you?
After you contribute your ideas in a brief oral presentation, you can view and respond to comments of other people who have offered thoughtful reflections on race, representation, and the media.
"Popular culture, commodified and stereotyped as it often is, is not at all, as we sometimes think of it, the arena where we find who we really are, the truth of our experience. It is an arena that is profoundly mythic. It is a theater of popular desires, a theatre of popular fantasies. It is where we discover and play with the identifications of ourselves, where we are imagined, where we are represented, not only to the audiences out there who do not get the message, but to ourselves for the first time."
Learn more about how Stuart Hall influenced a generation of media literacy educators, researchers & activists