Conducting analysis on images is similar to analyzing written texts, but there are certainly differences as well. Work will be done in class to assist you with this process, but two handouts are also provided on Blackboard to guide you through exploring the details of your ads. The titles of the handouts are listed below. It is recommended that you consider one or both of these documents as you choose your images.

• “Analyzing Ads: Gender” by Angela Eward-Mangione, Emma Brown, and Susan Gail Taylor (available on Blackboard)
• “Analyzing Ads: Race” by Jessica Masari Eberhard, Sam Corbett, and Susan Gail Taylor (available on Blackboard)
This assignment asks you to analyze representations of gender and/or race in two media images of your choosing (one of which must have been published in the last ten years) – images from print advertisements, billboards, movie posters, or some other published visual document approved by your instructor. (Note that you may not choose images mentioned in any of the texts discussed in class.) Your analysis will be heavily informed by what might be called a “lens text” – a text that provides a framework for understanding or interpreting something. In this case, your lens text/s will either be the text by Kilbourne, by Katz, and/or by Fuerst.
Your goal for Writing Project Two will be to apply some of the ideas from at least one of these texts to the two media images you choose to focus on. In other words, you’ll find two images and then analyze them through the “lens” of Kilbourne’s, Katz’s, and/or Fuerst’s ideas. Maybe you’ll discover that your images illustrate their ideas, or that your images contradict them, or that their ideas enlarge your understanding of the images in some specific way…or something else.
Overall, your main job in your paper will be to:
• Assert a thesis. In one or two sentences, explain your overall analysis of your chosen images. In other words, make a point about how the images you’ve chosen relate to one or more of Kilbourne’s, Katz’s, and/or Fuerst’s ideas. Your thesis may also forecast the main ideas that you’ll discuss in the body of your paper.
• Describe your chosen images. Describe the verbal and visual elements of your images in detail, so that people reading your paper can picture the images in their minds (even if you choose to embed your images into your project).
• Analyze your chosen images. Provide a series of well-developed paragraphs in which you discuss your images in relation to the lens text/s you’ve chosen. Analyze the visual and verbal elements, and show how one image relates to the other. Be sure to give examples from the images to illustrate your main idea (thesis), and be sure to incorporate references to the lens text/s. Use those references to support your own analysis. Ultimately, your analysis should help readers gain new insights into your images (and perhaps new insights into the lens text as well).

The two images are attached and their respective links for the MLA citation will be linked below:
https://www.businessinsider.com/is-ashton-kutchers-new-popchips-ad-racist-with-blackface-2012-5%0A%0A
https://www.digitalcommonwealth.org/search/commonwealth:7m01bp217

Sample Answer

Sample Answer

 

 

Analyzing Representations of Gender and Race in Media Images

In the modern era, media images play a significant role in shaping societal perceptions of gender and race. Through the lens of critical texts by Kilbourne, Katz, and Fuerst, this analysis will delve into two media images to explore how they portray and reinforce stereotypes related to gender and race. The selected images for analysis are an advertisement featuring Ashton Kutcher for Popchips and a vintage poster promoting women’s suffrage.

Thesis Statement

The analysis of the Popchips advertisement and the women’s suffrage poster reveals how gender and racial stereotypes are perpetuated and challenged in media representations. While the Popchips ad exemplifies racial insensitivity through its portrayal of Ashton Kutcher in brownface, the women’s suffrage poster subverts traditional gender roles by empowering women to advocate for their right to vote.

Description of Chosen Images

The Popchips advertisement from 2012 features Ashton Kutcher dressed as a Bollywood producer named Raj, complete with brown makeup, a thick accent, and stereotypical attire. This portrayal has sparked controversy and accusations of racism due to the use of blackface/brownface makeup, perpetuating harmful stereotypes of Indian culture.

In contrast, the vintage women’s suffrage poster depicts a group of women marching in solidarity, holding banners that advocate for women’s right to vote. The image symbolizes the feminist movement of the early 20th century, emphasizing the struggle for gender equality and political representation for women.

Analysis of Chosen Images

In analyzing the Popchips ad through the lens of Kilbourne’s ideas on gender representation, we can see how the advertisement reinforces racial stereotypes by depicting Ashton Kutcher as a caricature of an Indian character. This portrayal not only perpetuates harmful stereotypes but also highlights the issue of cultural appropriation and insensitivity in media representations.

Drawing from Katz’s perspective on race and media, the Popchips ad exemplifies how racial insensitivity can be normalized and perpetuated through popular culture, influencing public perceptions and attitudes towards marginalized communities. The use of brownface makeup in the advertisement reflects a broader pattern of racism and discrimination in media portrayals.

On the other hand, analyzing the women’s suffrage poster through Fuerst’s exploration of gender dynamics in media reveals how the image challenges traditional gender roles by depicting women as advocates for social change and political empowerment. The poster serves as a powerful visual statement of women’s resilience and determination to fight for their rights in a male-dominated society.

In conclusion, the analysis of the Popchips advertisement and the women’s suffrage poster highlights the complex interplay between gender, race, and media representations. By applying critical perspectives from Kilbourne, Katz, and Fuerst, we can gain new insights into how media images shape societal perceptions and contribute to the reinforcement or subversion of stereotypes related to gender and race. It is essential to critically examine and challenge these representations to promote diversity, inclusion, and social justice in media portrayals.

 

 

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