Me Against the Media Essay examples

2373 Words May 17th, 2011 10 Pages
Me Against the Media:
Tales From the Trenches of a Media Lit Class by Naomi Rockler-Gladen

I stroll into my Critical Media Studies classroom, drinking an icy bottle of Pepsi and wearing a Nike baseball cap. A few of my students glance up from their cell phones and iPods long enough to notice me. “Um, nice hat,” someone comments. “Thank you,” I say. “Today’s class is proudly sponsored by Nike, a strong advocate of education. When it comes to education, Nike says, ‘Just do it!’.” I take a swig of my Pepsi. “Can you guess who else is sponsoring our class today?” The few students who have actually done the reading chuckle because they know that today’s class is about the pervasiveness of consumerism in popular culture and in the
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“I mean, not as big as the one in the movie,” someone responds, “but you know, the flowers, the cake, the dress, the ring, all that stuff. I’ve daydreamed about my wedding since I was a little girl.” “Me too,” the first student says, and frowns. “Does that make me a bad person?” Therein lies the trouble. The dreams, the memories, the rites of passage of Generation Y — all of these are intertwined intricately with consumerism. By placing wedding consumption under scrutiny, this student feels like she is being attacked personally, because her sentimental dream of a wedding is linked so closely to products. To this Generation Y student, the suggestion there is something wrong with consumerism is akin to the suggestion that there is something wrong with her.
While all of us in the post-war Western world have grown up with the association between happiness and consumption, this association is all the more powerful with Generation Y. They have grown up with unlimited advertising and limited models of social consciousness or activism. Let’s look at the experiences of my students, a fairly typical U.S. American sample of Generation Y. Their happiest childhood memories are thoroughly linked to consumption. They were born in the 1980s under the Reagan administration, when two important trends in children’s television occurred. Reagan, ever the media deregulator,

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