Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Voicethread: Portrayal of Women Scientists

Our assignment this week was to put together a Voicethread about media representations of some group. The idea is that we would find photos from the Creative Commons - sort of "found photographs" that we could use to illustrate commentary about media representation. I decided to look at images of women scientists... but I unfortunately didn't find much interesting among the creative commons images :( So I went ahead and found images mostly from TV shows and movies (credited where I could find a source, but since this is a work of criticism/commentary I figure it's fair use regardless).

We were also assigned to come up with a classroom assignment, so here's mine:

Choose one group or concept with which you identify (e.g. male, student, Buddhist, cheerleader, waiter, etc. etc.). Find an assortment of visual representations of this group from a variety of sources, including fictional and non-fictional portrayals. Develop two different Voicethread presentations using the images you find, with two different arguments about what the representations show. For example, you could create one presentation arguing that mothers are generally portrayed as happy, unflappable "super-moms"; and a second presentation arguing that mothers are portrayed as harried, flustered, overwhelmed professionals. The purpose of this assignment is to increase your awareness of the messages conveyed by media representations, and also to alert you to how selective or subjective analysis can be used to manipulate findings.

1 comment:

  1. Miriam this voicethread is both intriguing and entertaining. You presented such a broad span of media representations of female scientists and made insightful comments about each one.

    I enjoyed how you presented contrasting images of female scientists from the current media versus more historical photos. There certainly is a noticeable difference. There is no doubt that the vast majority of female scientists in today's media are young, attractive women, though the female characters in the scientist facet are generally more "covered" in regards to their clothing than women in other branches of the media. Denise Richards should get as free pass because landing the role of a Bond woman is a deathtrap for portraying female professionalism and decency.

    It was also interesting how you pointed out the fact that when females scientists appear in the media, they are generally accompanied by a male colleague of equal or greater status, while males appear everywhere in the media as the top minds in their organizations.

    Very nicely done!

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