Any topic (writer’s choice)

IMPORTANT: Please see attachments (1st attachment is a sample of what the paper should look like, and the 2nd attachment is the subject the paper should be on). Below are the assignment instructions (remember to use the 2nd attachment as your frame of what should be included in the paper).
The critical methods/approaches you’ll use
Even though you will use Chapters 11, 14, 15 to guide your selection of the text, issue, and method of analysis for this paper, you will also critique your chosen text in terms of issues raised in Chapters 12 and 13 on audience issues and in Chapter 16 on ethical concerns. This means that in analyzing your selected text for the final paper, you will be using three methods of criticism:
1. the ideological/cultural critique,
2. audience-centered critique, and
3. ethical criticism.

Think of these as three parts of the final paper:

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1. Ideological/cultural critique (VWG chapters 11, 14, 15)

In the first part of your paper, use at least 1 and no more than 3 of the research questions listed below to frame your critique. Choose the questions that best fit the content and structure of your chosen text. Note that these research questions have concepts or terms that relate to the various concepts and methods discussed in the chapters.

– Who (which individuals or groups) is privileged and who is not?  Is privilege and power linked to rank, sex, gender, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic class, education level, political affiliation, religious affiliation, or other identity variables? How is this signaled in the text?

– Who (which individual groups) are present and which are absent? How is presence/visibility or absence/invisibility linked to privilege and power? What does this signal to the audiences?

-Which ideas and values are presented as preferred, and which are devalued, either overtly or subtly? How is this signaled in the text?

– Which values are presented or implicated as “common sense” or as being
“normal” or “natural” when in fact they represent only one of many possible options? How are such “common sense,” “normal,” or “natural” characterizations established or communicated?

– How do the characters, actions, plot points, themes, settings, or other narrative elements of the text serve to promote or sustain forms of oppression or domination?

– How does your selected text work hegemonically to enlist reader support for existing power structures (of ideology, class, sex/gender, race, etc.)?

– Whose points of view/feelings/experiences are viewers invited to identify with? Whose points of view are viewers not invited to identify with?

– How are the realities of the organizational, commercial, and/or industrial structures of the medium your text is a part of reflected in the content of your selected text?

– Which ideological positions are revealed by a study of the metaphors occurring in the text?

– Which ideological positions are revealed by a study of the ideographs occurring in the text?

– Which cultural myths are manifested in your text? how are they manifested? how is the text loyal to existing cultural myths, and how does it modify such myths?

– In what way(s) does your text communicate mixed messages of domination and resistance to power in any of the above areas?

2. Audience-centered analysis (VWG chapters 12, 13)

In the second part of your paper, address at least 1 and no more than 2 questions from those listed below.

– What is the ideal/ intended audience? How is it signaled in the text?

-What signals does the text give you about what the producers want the ideal/intended viewer to to know, feel, or believe—about the wider world?

– In what ways does the text attempt to control the audience’s act of viewing/reading? (examples: protension, retention, camera work, interruptions, editing)

– Which character(s)’s point-of-view is the audience expected to take up? How is this signaled in the text?

– Does the text use the cinematic mode of address or the rhetorical mode of address (see VWG, p. 335)? How so? What is the effect of this?

– How would you characterize the dominant (preferred) reading of the text? What might a negotiated or oppositional reading of the text consist of?

– If you talked to other people about the text, what were their readings of it? (and how would you characterize them: dominant, negotiated, or oppositional?)

3. Ethical questions (issues from Unit 8: VWG chapter 16)

In part three of the paper, address at least 1 and no more than 2 questions from those listed below.

– What ethical concerns does the text raise? What dangers might be present for vulnerable viewers?

– What is morally problematic or ethically questionable about the text? What is morally or ethically admirable about the text?
– What messages are communicated by the moral/ethical choices made by characters in the text? (in other words, for good or bad, what moral or ethical “lessons” does the text communicate to its viewers?

– Are there moral ambiguities or moral mixed messages in the text? How are such ambiguities communicated? How are they resolved (if indeed they are)?

– How does the text signal to its audience which actions/characters are to be read as ethical and which actions/characters are to be read as unethical? is the signaling convincing?

– Is the text or its production as a whole (as opposed to specific characters or episodes) ethically problematic? (that is, do you believe that the text itself should never have been produced or broadcast, for ethical or moral reasons?)

It’s also possible that the program you will analyze raises questions not listed above. It that is the case, just clearly state the questions you will address.

What else will the paper include?

Discussion and citation of at least five academic sources to inform and/or complement your analysis. While the analysis of ideological/cultural, audience/reader, and ethical issues will be the focus of your paper, you must inform your analysis with sources that have
– analyzed the specific text or show you’ve chosen and have found patterns relevant to your questions
– analyzed similar programs in the same genre or category and give you insight into your topic
– analyzed similar questions in terms of the ideological/cultural/audience/ethical issues you consider in your analysis

These sources must be relevant sources that will help you develop and support your analysis.

You will cite at least five sources in the text (in parenthetical citations using APA style—link to APA provided below) and will list them in a reference list or bibliography at the end of the paper. By academic sources I mean academic books, academic book chapters, and/or academic articles published in peer-reviewed journals. Let me know if you have questions about this.  To locate academic sources, I strongly recommend that you use the Communication & Mass Media Complete database (accessible through the Zimmerman Library web site) to find articles published in appropriate academic journals.  You may also use Google Scholar for academic citations and full texts. Among the most appropriate journals for this assignment are the following:
– Critical Studies in Media Communication
– Quarterly Journal of Speech
– Television and New Media
– New Media and Society
– Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media
– Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies
– Media, Culture, and Society
– Journalism
– Journalism Studies


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