Assignment 4: Entertainment Media Activity Now that you know a little bit more about the nature of intimate partner violence (IPV), this assignment will challenge you to think critically about how stereotypes and myths about IPV are found throughout our entertainment media (e.g., television, movies, music, video games). As a sociologist, any time I engage with the media I always think about what viewers might be learning that isnt obviously on the surface. This assignment is a chance for you to do the same. As you go through, you may want to think about your learning strategy as a five-step process (I’ve annotated the “5 E’s” below). Preparation for this Assignment Step 1: Engage – Search for a media source that portrays dating relationships and conflict. For this assignment, you are going to watch and report on a television show or movie that portrays intimate relationships or conflict between intimate partners. You can choose to analyze a show or movie you already know about (I encourage you to re-watch it), or pick something new. You will be surprised how prevalent stereotypes and potentially harmful misconceptions about IPV are in media once you are looking for them. Step 2: Explore – Use course content to identify IPV warning signs or stereotypes in your media choice. Here are a few examples that come to mind for me: 1) Twilight movies: a much older man (since vampires are supposed to be hundreds of years old) hangs around a high-school girl, watching her sleep (stalking) and frightening her until she eventually falls in love with him, then physically fights other suitors for her love. 2) Disneys Beauty and the Beast movie: A man who is literally a monster kidnaps a woman, isolates her from her family, verbally abuses and controls her until she learns to reinterpret his behavior and change her own behavior until a loving prince magically emerges. 3) Scandal television series: A story about a single woman, Olivia, who is romantically involved with a married man, President Grant. Written Assignment (20 points) Step 3: Explain – Identify examples from your media choice by using the correct IPV terms to describe what you see. After watching your chosen movie or television show, please write a brief, three-paragraph analysis of IPV themes you found in the movie or show. This report will be for a discussion board, to be shared with your classmates. Paragraph 1 Identify the title and/or episode of the media you watched, and provide a brief summary of the plot in a few sentences. Be sure to inform the reader about the specific relationship, characters, or event that you will analyze in depth. Paragraph 2 Go into detail about one specific example of a relationship, character, or event that portrays a stereotype or misconception about IPV. In this section, I want you to use SPECIFIC TERMINOLOGY from the textbook or course material, providing citations if necessary. For example, you might discuss a specific behavior, a stereotypical or unrealistic response to a behavior, or a specific psychological trait exhibited by a character. Step 4: Elaborate – Consider how and why the IPV myth or stereotypes are being portrayed in media. Paragraph 3 Provide your opinion on whether or not the show should have portrayed this IPV-related issue this way? Should the writers of the show change the way they wrote that part, or not? Can you make recommendations on how the movie/show could be more realistic, or be more socially responsible in their portrayal of IPV? Do you think movies/television shows reinforce dangerous stereotypes, or could entertainment media be used to educate and inform people as well? What might that look like?
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