Critical analysis of the cultural and ideological assumptions

 Critical analysis of the cultural and ideological assumptions

You will provide a critical analysis of the cultural and ideological assumptions behind a piece of text involving love, sex and globalization. Texts can include YouTube videos, books, movies, laws, policies or political speeches. You may use a piece of text about a topic we engage in the course (sex work, family, migration, etc.) or another of your choosing. I highly encourage you to use one that we discuss in the course. Examples include: A show about international marriages (i.e. 90 day fiancé). An executive order about family separations A video from an anti-trafficking awareness building campaign. A law that bans international matchmaking. When you are doing a critical analysis. You are trying to understand the assumptions that underlie the text.

If you look closely, you will see that each piece is reflective of ideas about how love and intimate relations should function. For example, each piece is reflective of ideas about how people should act, how they should relate to each other and who should be in these relationships. These ideas about love and intimate relations are explicitly linked to ideologies about race, sex, gender, ethnicity, etc. Your goal for this paper is to expose these hidden assumptions and show how these are reflective in the language, images, symbols used in the piece of media. Then you will use frameworks, concepts and theories from our course texts to support your analysis. Examples: You may find that there are racist assumptions about certain cultures that guide the portrayal of international marriages (course concept: racialized sexual norms).

Further Description

You may see that the executive order assumes that families are comprised of one mom and dad. Course concept: heteronormativity / Overarching theory: Queer theory). You may find that this awareness building campaign portrays women as helpless women from the Global South (Course concept: racialized gender norms/ Overarching theory: postcolonial feminist theory). For example, your paper may be about how the law that bans international matchmaking is negative about interethnic marriages because of a history of colonialism (course concept: homonationalism/ overarching theory: queer theory). Your analysis needs to be supported by academic sources. You will be required to use at least one academic sources from the course.

You are to cite at least eight academic sources in your paper. Consequently you will be using very few non-academic sources and likely your cultural artifact will be your only non-academic source. Content ideas. You will begin with an argument that briefly introduces the text and provides a rationale for the analysis of the text. Overview: Move soon into a paragraph or two that summarizes the text (brief overview, then key details of plot or image content, especially those pertinent to your analysis). Approach: In a separate paragraph, summarize the approach you will take, identifying the theoretical lenses you will use. Analysis: Much of the paper should be devoted to a clearly organized, thoughtful analysis of the text that comes from a critical perspective. Things to consider when you are writing your paper.  Intentionality: Tread carefully when you write about other cultures or societies.

Additional Information

Avoid perpetuating cultural essentialism and stereotyping! Be reflexive (remember the lessons from week 2). Consider the following questions Am I making simplistic assumptions about another culture? Am I speaking for someone else? Am I veering closely towards perpetuating the same stereotypes we learned about in class? How does your position in the world affect your perspective of the text? Grading: As in other papers, some keys for a good grade are. Balance of depth and breadth: If the text is simpler (e.g., a magazine ad), you might discuss several themes present. If it is more complex, your entire paper might focus on analyzing one theme. Depth of thought and analysis is paramount here!

Don’t just highlight the things that are apparent to most people. Try to give the reader the “aha” experience by looking deeper into the text. Do not make claims without support. Thus, if you claim that a piece of text portrays a certain positive (or negative) view of sex work, provide examples from the text to illustrate your point.

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