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Multicultural Experiences in the Media Analysis

During our class, we have talked about historical and existing critiques and problems with depictions of multicultural experiences in the media such as linguistic stereotyping.In this assignment, I want you to update that conversation by finding a contemporary example of a TV show, movie, video game, or other form of visual media that attempts to depict multicultural people and experiences in new ways. You will be using course readings and concepts to help you analyze the larger significance of these projects.

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There are two sections here: 1. Preparation and 2. What to include in your paper
Preparation:
Step 1: Choose a topic: Look for a recent TV show, film, music video, video game or other form of visual media that is depicting (or attempting to depict) multicultural experiencesand/or made by a diverse cast and production or with attention to diversity. Choose one you will be interested in learning about and analyzing.
Step 2: Become an expert on it:

Watch it a few times and take notes on it while you are watching it. Write down important details and quotes.
Read articles written about it. These can be non-academic articles. Search for them online and on the library’s web page. These could be interviews with the actors and creators, articles about the show, academic analyses of the shows. You could also look for articles written about things similar to it (such as video games depicting native peoples, if you can’t find info on your exact video game). Let me know if you need help finding these.

Step 3: Connect it to our class topics

History: How does it relate to things that have come before it? Think of Lippi Green’s “Teaching Children to Discriminate” about the use of stereotypes, language and characterization in animated films and what they teach children, and Helen Zia’s article about the use of yellow face and lack of diversity in casting. Is this in rejection of that? Does this have some of the same problems? You might have to do some research about this one through the library or ask me for some references.
Key terms: Look through the key terms, topics and readings we have learned so far. Are there some that your show is trying to engage with, does well, does poorly like intersectionality, or racialization? Are they trying to critique something like redlining or the possessive investment in whiteness? etc.

What to Include in Your Paper:
Introduction: Introduce your topic and why you chose it. You could consider starting with a hook that describes a scene or aspect of the item. End this section with your thesis statement: Your thesis statement should state what you will argue about in this paper. It should be related to our class topics. Underline your thesis. I recommend trying out this thesis statement machine if you haven’t yet. It’s great for thinking of ideas.
Body paragraphs (3-5 paragraphs): You can organize these however you want, but I want you to include:

A description of/information about the media item from you having watched it
Information about what other people are saying about it. What’s the reception by critics and the public? Who is watching it? (cite things you find from other places). What is the significance of this?
Context/history we need to know to understand the media item.
Your original analysis of the show and how it relates to depicting multicultural experiences/diverse communities, etc.  Incorporate references /citations to at least TWO readings, films or video lectures from our class.  One of these needs to be Omi and Winant “Racial Formations”, Lippi Green’s article, or Helen Zia’s article. You could use key terms from our class here.

Conclusion: Summarize what you argued/your key findings. You could also suggest whether things are changing or staying the same in terms of how multicultural communities are depicted in the media, etc.
 
Other Requirements:
4-5 pages, double spaced, use Times new roman font, normal margins, give your paper a descriptive title, include direct quotes from your media item.
 
Optional:
photos/images from your media piece
 

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