Friday, November 29, 2013

Online Assignment 3_Kaplan

The documentary “Mickey Mouse Monopoly” describes the way in which the Disney corporation has a monopoly over the content which educates and entertains our children. The documentary featured various academics and writers in cultural studies analyzing the effects of the Disney content as well as the magnitude of the extent to which Disney controls the airwaves. The consensus throughout the documentary was that Disney publishes content that idealizes fair skin and associates negativity with darkness. The documentary also attempts to answer what repercussions this content might have on children as well as adults who have grown up in a culture inundated with Disney.
            One implication of Disney’s monopoly on youth content is that it creates a culture that maintains roles in which fair skin is idealized and dark skin is associated with negativity. This cultural studies perspective, which we covered in lecture, refers to how media represents culture in interaction with existing culture. Theses roles established by the interaction between the culture represented in the media and existing culture can stick with viewers outside of the frame of the media. Dr. Henry Giroux argues that children, who have underdeveloped and influential worldviews, are especially affected. He further argues that Disney represents urban/minority culture in an uneducated, incapable and negative light, while fairer skinned characters are represented as the norm. Giroux argues that when children see these roles being represented in the media, it shapes their perception of these roles in real life. This refers to the ritual view of communication, which says that communication functions as a ritual that enforces societal roles. According to Giroux, Disney also does a lot to control their image as a media outlet. In reality, Disney is a media conglomerate that owns many media outlets but still manages to maintain its image as a symbol of innocence. This too, is another way in which Disney represents culture, namely, the culture of Disney which has become instilled in American youth, in a role with existing culture, namely as an innocent cartoon outlet.
            Another implication of Disney’s monopoly on American youth content in culture is that it cultivates a culture that our youth grow up with. The concept of cultural cultivation is that our worldview, and the roles of individuals are established over time through culture, such as school, television and art. This means that not only are kids understanding the roles developed in Disney movies but also as they watch an increasing amount of Disney this culture is ingrained in them and becomes their worldview. Furthermore, because of how pervasive television and Disney culture has become, children who watch a high amount of TV are getting their main source of cultural cultivation from Disney. Even if their parents or school reinforces more equal and less detrimental cultural roles, the worldview provided by Disney is so pervasive that youth are still going to be affected by it.


  1. I liked your post, it made valid points and drew evidence from the movie to support them. I agree with your idea that Disney uses its movies to idealize fair skin, I argued the same thing in my post however used some different evidence. I thought it was interesting when you mentioned that children who have underdeveloped and influential world views seem to be particularly affected since I did not pick up on that when I was watching the movie. I also liked your insight into the ritual view of communication, it was something I didnt pick up on initially but makes perfect sense and I agree that Disney has had a part in shaping a kids perception of how to act as an adult. Also, it shows how Disney has a long term impact and its influence is should not be ignored. I liked your view on cultural cultivation as well, since I too believe that Disney has been fostering a culture that our children will live with in the future. I also liked how you talked about how even though a children’s parents and teachers may teach them different things than the ideologies Disney does, if the child still watches a lot of Disney its influence will be hard to overcome. Overall I liked your post a lot, it made valid arguments with strong support from the movie.

  2. Your introduction was an original summary of the documentary as you narrowed the claims down to two overarching thoughts. Your final thought in your second paragraph was interesting. It expanded on the claim that Disney controls their brand image to be one of innocence, which can be seen as a cultural studies perspective because it is maintaining its image that it already holds within society.
    To make your essay stronger, I would add what media perspectives you discuss throughout your essay in your introduction. Doing so will help the reader to know what you are attempting to claim throughout your paper. Another thought to expand your essay, is to add your personal thoughts. You end your essay with a very strong claim that even if our education and parents try to interfere with Disney’s message, children are still going to be affected by it. I think that it would be interesting to hear what you believe could solve the problem of Disney’s pervasiveness in our culture, to help eliminate these cultural ideas that they instill on society.
    The structure of the documentary is interesting to consider when looking at your final paragraph. Mickey Mouse Monopoly opens with children’s perspectives on Disney films and then continues with an older generation of previous Disney consumer’s ideas on Disney. Their views differ between thinking that Disney is simply for entertainment or if it represents much more than that. Some of these responses could be beneficial to supporting your claim.

  3. I liked your post as well. I thought that the way you presented the first paragraph was really well done. It summarized the video really well along with providing the perspectives that you believe were in the video. I made one of the same observations of the perspectives, but your second perspective was very unique and interesting because you were one of the few people that connected the video with that perspective. In your first paragraph, you state the perspective of cultural studies. I agree with this perspective and seems to be one of the most popular perspectives noticed from the video. I really think that you present strong evidence from Giroux and I found your evidence to be very compelling. The media presented in television can make certain groups of people or ages feel the role presented in media are their roles in real life. The second paragraph was very interesting. I did not even observe this perspective let alone think to write a paragraph on it. The paragraph is very strong and provides multiples areas of strength in the form of evidence from the video and personal observations. I was surprised and thought you did very well presenting this perspective and I was able to follow exactly what you were saying about the perspective. Overall, I thought you were able to connect the video along with the perspectives. I liked the way you were unique in the way you presented both perspectives, but especially interested in your second claim through cultivation theory.

  4. I think your post was very well written and I could tell you took time in analyzing the documentary.I really like how you took a different approach to everyone else and your post was more original. You had one of the few post that I read that discussed cultural cultivation and I think you had a great take on it. You did a great job explaining what cultural cultivation and then you helped further my understanding of the term after you related it back to the documentary. You were smart by digging deeper and discussing that disney is more than a children's television network. Pointing out that Disney is a huge media conglomerate illustrated why Disney is so focused on their image to the public and how they successfully exercise their power to create stereo types in young children. If I were to give you any criticism it would to be use more examples from the documentary. Although you did a great job quoting people that appeared in the movie, your post would have been stronger if you drew examples from specific movies talked about like Tarzan and The Lion King. Overall I think you did a very good job and I enjoyed reading what you had to write.