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Notes for Survey Mass- final.docx

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COMM 1020

Identity • the fact of being who or what a person is • the condition of being the same with something described or asserted • the aspect of the self that is accessible and salient in a particular context and that interacts with that environment Essentialist view • identity = singular, stable essence of ‘self’ • categories of identity are natural, necessary & universal Anti-essentialist/social constructivist view • identity – unstable and temporary effect of relations that define identities by marking differences • recognizes there are differences between people o but which differences become important and visible where the lines are drawn, and meanings of each category are socially constructed Mediated Identities • important to survey of mass comm = human communication, • mass media- gives us some of the raw materials and symbolic language we use to construct/perform our identity o “cultural identity” – in relation to social groups o ex: taylor swift- symbols for being female, long blonde hair, singing about heartbreak VS. miley cyrus o “market identity” as consumer and commodity o “Representation is not a matter of accuracy or distortion. Identities are produced and taken up in and through the practices of representation Historicizing ‘Othering’ • centuries of Western Empires: conquer and colonize! • Us and Them • Establishing different works to maintain power • Ex: british empire picture with the octopus legs “for a man represents both the positive and the neutral as indicated by the common use of man to designate human beings in general; whereas woman represents only the negative, defined by limiting criteria” Simone de Beauvoir Masculinity vs. femininity Historicizing Representation • American ‘mass media’and nation-building • EarlyAmerican media = assimilation function for white ethnic immigrants; • Normalizing middle class whiteness as ‘default’identity, became the ‘us’ o Character the Tramp, immigrant with mustache with clown shoes, goofy and weird. But ultimately at the end, assimilated into theAmerican fam o Golderberg- Americanization
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