For this project you will be analyzing how the media depicts families in terms of race, class, and gender or other dimensions of inequality.
You will write a formal 8-10 page paper. Your paper should be well organized and provide a thoughtful analysis. In your paper you will provide your analysis of the situation comedy or television drama you agreed to watch and make connections to outside sources and relevant course material.
Writing the Paper:
1. Compose an introductory paragraph that draws the reader in, clearly states the thesis or purpose of your paper, and provides a map of what you intend to do in the paper. (This can feel a bit mechanical, but for this kind of paper, clarity is a major virtue). Tell the reader what you plan to do, step by step, and then do it.
2. Write a literature review drawing from at least 4 outside sources and the relevant course material/readings. Literature reviews should accomplish several tasks: review the findings of a body of literature, identify patterns in the literature, and position the author and their research relative to the previous literature. To do this select specific passages from the articles you found or we have read/course material that help you to develop the claims you are making or help fulfill the purpose you set out at the beginning. These passages should provide evidence of the claims you are making about the issues. Avoid long quotations. It is better to incorporate the most important phrases within sentences you construct. Be sure to use quotation marks if quoting specialized concepts or more than three consecutive words from an author. Paraphrases of an author should be more than rearranged or replaced words. Practice summarizing in your own words. It may not sound quite as clear as the original author, but it will avoid any problems with plagiarism. This section should be around 2 pages.
3. Write a brief methods section (a page or less). This sections should address:
• Why did you choose this particular show? Why do you think it connected to the themes/concepts you are interested in?
• How did you approach this study? Did you watch an entire season? Select episodes from various seasons throughout the show’s duration? Why did you pick the particular show/episodes that you did?
• What did you code for? How did you measure different themes or concepts?
4. Write an analysis section (around 4 pages). This section should address:
• Describe the family types or arrangements displayed in the show.
• How do race, class, and gender (or other forms of inequality) shape family life in the television show you watched? You can use some specific examples for each social location, but you must also discuss the intersection of some of these variables.
• Relate the examples you’ve used from the show back to the outside sources and the course material– this includes readings, notes, and class discussions. This is an important part of the assignment, so make sure that you spend time discussing how the content of the show reinforces or challenges the literature or course materials. What does this suggest about the media source? How might this have been different if you selected another media source?
5. Write a conclusion (around a page) that leaves the reader satisfied that you have accomplished what you set out to do. Beyond summarizing your thesis and major points, you may wish to identify issues for further reflection, or issue a challenge to yourself or to the general reader.
For this project, I am choosing to watch an American Comedy-Drama television series of “Girlfriends Guide to Divorce.” This TV show replicates modern types of families and dramatically portrays some situations that families experience from marriage, divorce, parenting styles, and career. Each main character has her own family and career to manage. I find the show interesting as it relates to the current times where family performs based on social construction and economic pressures. Although, “divorce” has become a normal part of these characters lives, they still struggle with the decisions that they make every day while trying to figure out ways to navigate as single woman/single-parent.
*I was instructed to use 2 episodes, and I picked Season 1 Episode 2 and Season 1 Episode 5.
For more information on Divorce Issues read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divorce
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