Thursday, November 28, 2013

Online assignment 3_ PJ Feichtmeier

             The Mickey Mouse Monopoly depicted how media can affect the cognitive development of children, starting at a very young age.  The perspective of cultural studies is evident throughout the film.  The film dives into how Disney is able to portray certain races in a positive manner compared to others, and what kind of effect this has on children.  Jacqueline Maloney brings up the fact that in the Jungle book, the characters that most resemble African Americans are the animals such as monkeys, orangutans, and crows.  She argues that since all the characters in the film wish to be human, it is actually projecting the idea that African Americans are worse the white Americans, a stereotype that is clearly untrue.  Dr. Alvin Poussaint points out the idea that the hyenas depict inner city African Americans, specifically in a negative manner.  This affects children dramatically, and Maloney brings up an example of a child that had mistaken a group of black children on the playground as hyenas.  But the association didn’t stop here, the children’s association was so deeply rooted that the child had also made the connection that the black children on the playground were bad, like the hyenas in the movie.  Lastly, Chyng Feng Sun points out that many Asians are depicted with slanted eyes, buck teeth, and are perceived as cunning and manipulative.  All of these associations help children to form the idea of white supremacy, and causes minority children to feel worse about themselves. 
            The video also covered the cultivation perspective of media.  The main component of the cultivation perspective is the idea that it is cumulative, and time is a key part of this accumulation.  The movie looked at the way Disney has portrayed gender and gender roles over the years, specifically for women.  It was interesting to see how throughout its history, Disney has always portrayed women as slender, with large breasts and a thin waste. Dr. Diane Levin states that young girls look up to these characters as role models and examples of what it means to be a true woman and it shapes children’s images about how they are going to look when they are older.  Also, it depicts women using their body to get what they want in life.  Dr. Gail Dines points this out when she brings up the little mermaid.  She point out the fact that the main character gives up her voice in order to get the man of her dreams.  However, this brings up the interesting point that since she has now given up her voice, all she has left to get the guy is her body.  Without children even realizing it, little girls are being shaped to use their body to get what they want, clearly a negative inclination to grow up with. 
            The Micky Mouse Monopoly proved to be very convincing in its findings, showing how the Disney corporation has been able to not only enforce racial stereotypes, but has also had a dramatic effect on how children view gender roles.  But, the most alarming part of it was the way Disney was profits off not only the movies, but the merchandise children play with as well, only increasing its influence.  


  1. It was clear that you were able to draw out prime examples for your supporting arguments for each of your perspectives. I, myself, used similar examples in my online assignment. The strongest part of this short writing piece is your use of the hyenas depicting African Americans, because you went into depth on the lasting effect this had on the viewers as well. In my piece, I stopped at simply what Disney was portraying in their films, but bringing in the example of the little kid associating this with black children being bad was very convincing. In order to make this argument clearer to the reader would be to mention more about how these examples refer back to the cultural studies perspective, as you did with the Cultivation perspective. What I found interesting with Disney in relation to Cultural studies was that they are such a powerful corporation that they can get away with these stereotypes. As seen in the Cultural studies, power structures are created through media, creating mass messages. These mass message stereotypes were not rejected because Disney used its power to sue any negative arguments about their company. Other than relating back to how cultural studies is exemplified, this is a strong piece that I agreed with completely.

  2. I like how you used multiple reasons and drew from many different aspects from the documentary to make your argument. You went in depth for both cultural and cultivation theories. One thing I thoiced though, was that while you did a good job of explaining the cultural aspects, you didn't mention that it was part of the cultural studies of media. Other than that, I thought this was a good piece, and I really liked how you tied in the cultivation aspect with how young girls look up to the slim women depicted in Disney movies.