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How does it operate as a sign and what is its significance?
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For this research essay you will focus on an analysis of the representation of race in the media (news or otherwise) to view these texts as narratives on race through the theoretical lens of the texts and ideas we have been discussing.
Here are additional questions you may want to use to inspire your analysis. These are not required elements.
I suggest that you choose a topic that answers the questions I asked you on day one: What do you think are the current issues around race and the media?
Additional questions to consider:
How is race constructed in the representation and what does it signal? How does it operate as a sign and what is its significance?
How do media representations affect us as individuals, or as members of the groups in which we are racially categorized? How does the representation of race to define our identities, our imagined communities, our place in a changing world?
Analysis: The first step in your analysis will be to fully understand the theory/theories you have chosen to apply. Read over the text and your notes, summarizing what you see as the key elements of the theory. The next step is to look for possible connections between the theory and media artefacts and narratives. The point is to think about the connections that you see and find interesting, problematic, or meaningful.
Once you have identified connections between the theory and your chosen media representations, you must use these links to analyze the representation. It is not enough to simply identify the connections themselves; you have to try to understand what these connections might mean. In other words, when you read the representation using the theory you have selected, what message do you think it conveys about race?
Research: It is critical that you do this assignment using the theory you have chosen from course texts and your own critical thinking. You will also do additional research on the theory or the media representation for this film, however this will be supplemental information to support your analysis rather than the central focus of your essay. I want you to engage both the film and the theory directly and tell me what you think. Ultimately, your analysis will be evaluated on how well you have understood the theory, taken into account evidence from the media text, and reasonably supported your analysis using that evidence and your research. Please include a minimum of 2 scholarly sources (peer-reviewed articles or scholarly books only) in addition to the course material you use. Good scholarly writing presents evidence with each argument. This can be in the form of both textual analysis and secondary material to support your textual reading.
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