This week’s is the beginning of our new unit, on representation as it relates to love, sex, and intimacy. We will be looking how we form romantic ideals, how media representation shapes our understandings of relationships, and how technology intervenes in ways that can produce and reproduce systemic bias.
This unit is the most sensitive of all the units we have done so far this term. Our readings will cover mature topics and will, at times, cover potentially controversial issues like sexual assault and pornography (see Week 13). For that reason, it is important for you to maintain an open mind, but also communicate openly with me if you run into something you find upsetting.
Please complete the following questions for the week, using your own words and complete sentences.
3/24 – Koontz(In attachment files)
- Describe in a few sentences the purpose Koontz’s study, what she did, and what her findings were.
- What is “princess culture?” What are a few of its common features?
- How does the article define “idealist” and “realist” love? What is the difference between them?
- What are some common scripts surrounding love, romance and relationships in popular culture? Identify at least one media example to make your point.
3/26 – O’Neill(in attachment files)
- What is the seduction industry and why does it exist?
- Why does the seduction industry target straight men, and can you imagine it operating for a group other than straight men? How?
- What is an example of seduction in popular culture and/or social media?
- O’Neill argues that the seduction industry isn’t an aberration, but rather is an acceleration of society and social norms. What does she mean by that?
- What is heteronormativity, and how does it apply to both of this week’s readings?
- Both readings suggest that there is a relationship between love/intimacy and the economy—work, entrepreneurship, or “the market.” Explain that link as you see it pertain to each article.