Receiving this project brief at first, you could say, was rather daunting. My head was quite frankly all over the place with dozens of ideas whizzing through my mind. Originally, I was confident on producing a video piece due to my interest in shooting and editing. I have studied Media since GCSE’s so it is clear to say that I am interested in the subject. I began to brainstorm – demonstrated in this blog posts header image – as I thought it would be a great way to collect my thoughts and images and put them onto paper. It is clear that I did have a variety of ideas. My production work had to link to one of the four subject areas we had studied. These included Religion, Nationality, Gender or Class. My ideas were all linked in some way or another and it was choosing which route to take and finalizing the idea which was the most difficult part for me. One idea that I really wanted to pursue was to create an advertising campaign about the ‘Objectification and Sexualisation of women’. I find this issue an extremely worrying aspect of today’s society as it affects many women worldwide. Lowering self esteem, increased victims of eating disorders and feeling ‘not good enough’ are all repercussions of this serious matter. I found a lot of academic and theoretical studies to support me with this idea and I was rather confident that this was the plan that was going to go forward.
However, after a long decision and more planning, which included drawing plans of posters and thinking of clear and straight to the point taglines for my idea, I thought to myself that this idea was perhaps too ordinary. This does not mean that the issue is still not an important aspect of today’s society, I just believe that grasping and moving forward with this media production task with something more personal would help me really thrive towards accomplishing this task in a proud and confident manner. I wanted to develop my concept into something much more memorable.
Being from Grimsby, I’m immediately stereotyped as being a ‘chav’ or someone from a very poor town. When I first came to University I did not like telling people my home town because the release of the film ‘Grimsby’ was in cinemas and I knew people would have something to say and judge me from being brought up in such a ‘disgusting place’. Because of this, I know what it is liked to be judged without people actually knowing who you are. People immediately think and assume they know everything about you because you’re from a certain place with a certain reputation and social class. I personally do not think it is fair that people judge others because of where they are from, what they wear, what activities they like but that is what society is like these days, and admit it… you do it too. Going back to my ideas and sketching some thoughts from my head to paper, I knew that this idea was something close to my heart but also something I could achieve and hopefully achieve to a good standard.
My planning and brainstorming then led me to finalize my idea which is going to be a photography portfolio demonstrating how society judges people due to their class because of what they wear, eat and the accessories they have and so on. According to Bullock (1995), the poor are seen as lazy and that they’re disinterested in self improvement. However, on the other hand, Ragusa (2014) conducted a study that showed that ‘the rich’ were stereotyped as lucky, greedy, and untouchable. This clearly shows that their is a divide in society, which is supported by Macrae, Stangor and Hewstone (1996) stating: “Many people judge character from physical appearance and appearance can influence impressions in the absence of effect on categorization.”
One study and theory that has influenced my production work is the Binary Opposition Theory by Levi-Strauss (1958). Strauss’ theory shows that binary oppositions are related terms or concepts, however are opposite in meaning. They are seen as a fundamental organizer of human philosophy, culture and language. This theory links heavily with our ideological values of how we feel, and do remarkably, perceive the world. Examples of binary opposition are: Rich or Poor, Black or White, Gay or Straight. I think this theory explores the divide between social classes and how people do not seem to want to communicate with people from other social classes. This links in with ‘Othering’ which is the centre of sociological analysis of how the majority and minority status and characters are formulated. This is due to portrayal of contrasting groups with society are under control by other groups that have superior political power. Social Identities contemplate how both individuals and groups internalise social categories for example, gender, class or ethnic. These social categories configure our notions of which groups we belong to, who we believe we are as a person and how we want to represent and be seen by other individuals.
I believe my production work is aimed at everybody. All social classes will be involved in my portfolio to project the issues of stereotyping and judgement.
Bullock,H.E(1995).Classacts:Middleclassresponsestothepoor.InSocialPsychologyofInterpersonal Discrimination Lott,B.,and Maluso,D.(eds.) Guilford, New York, pp. 118–159.
Jordan Ragusa 2014 Article:Socioeconomic Stereotypes Explaining Variation in Preferences for Taxing the Rich’ Page 2: URL: http://bit.ly/1mfWAYo
Stereotypes and Stereotyping: C.Neil Macrae, Charles Stangor, Miles Hewstone, The Guilford Press New York and London 1996. Page 86-87