Media & Society 16 Class Blog

Welcome to the SLU Madrid Media & Society Blog. Here you will find the work of the students enrolled in this class. This class is focused on analyzing the way the media interacts with society. We hope you find our posts informative on current events in a context of fast paced technological shifts.

Step I: To comment on the work conducted by another classmate.

Step II: To comment on our own work.

Step III: Group work in which one representative of the group will blog about the progress of that group´s work.



Gender Roles

The Incredibles

We decided to choose gender as one of the main themes because it is a common theme which Disney addresses, and strongly connected to achieving gender equality for women in our society today. As in our previous post we will provide some examples of gender:

Aladdin-In the movie there is a seemingly a favorable attitude that puts women on a pedestal but sometimes conveys an assumption the women need men’s protection.

The Little mermaid-The character of Ariel is shown to do anything to be with the prince. She is mostly objectified in the movie,in the way she dresses  and how she always need help from men around her.

The Beauty and the Beast- The theme of gender role in the beauty and the beast is one of the main themes which arises in the story. Gaston says that it is not right for women to read. Compared to other Disney princesses, Belle is very self-sufficient. Even though she is the most beautiful girl in the village , according  to townspeople, people think she is very odd, because she does not feel like she belongs to the society.

Pocahontas-Although the main character, Pocahontas is strongly sexualized through her clothes. Furthermore she is to take the place of her mother when the mother’s necklaces is bestowed upon her father. Her role as a fertile woman and mother is placed on her by her father.

Lilo and Stitch-While most characters fit within traditional gender roles, Pleakley, one of the aliens sent to Earth to retrieve Stitch, is outside the “norm”. While addressed with the traditionally male pronouns “he” and “him”, he dresses as a female traditionally would.

Frozen-In this movie, Disney rejects the “happily ever after” heterosexual romance in this movie, Elsa is seen as a powerful and independent woman who learns to love her power instead of concealing it. Anna is a strong woman, role model who is independent, adventurous, and brave.


The Incredibles

We have decided to discuss diversity in Disney films because it is a prevelent topic in todays society. Disney also focusses on these topics as one of their main ideas in order to construct their films. Disney’s films are widespread and are mainly aimed at a younger audience, therefor these effects are more likely to impact the children’s views on race and diversity. Below we will provide a list of our research:

  • Aladdin – This film is an inaccurate portrayal of the Middle Eastern culture as seen by the entire setting. The film was supposed to be representative of Persia, therefore making the stereotypes in the film inaccurate.
  • The Little Mermaid – In the movie we don’t see that much of diversity within the mermaids in the movie, however in the series we see more diverse characters. Sebastian the crab, has a Jamaican accent and  he is portrayed in the movie as carefree and an energetic character.
  • Beauty and the Beast – The story takes place in France. People in town are french because throughout the song they sing in French. The name Belle, translated from French, means beauty. Also, Lumiere, the candleholder, is French. He also mentions it in the song “Be our guest”: “After all, Miss, this is France/And a dinner here is never second best….
  • Pocahontas – This movie focusses on the Native American tribal culture and the discovery of America. The  portrayal of the Americans is inaccurate as seen by the main charter Pocahontas. Some of the inaccuracies include, her way of dressing, and her ties to nature as magic instead of religion.
  • Lilo and Stich – In this movie, Nani takes on the role of mother, and caretaker of Lilo. Further more she works at a resort in which she functions as a waitress. It is assumed by their living conditions that she does not make a lot of money but she is happy none the less .
  • Frozen-In the movie there is lack of diversity. Frozen has four main human characters and out of the four:
    – Four are white
    – Four are all apparently straight
    – Three are blonde


Education activism

Group – Silver Tongues

When taking into consideration race relations in the United States among other topics of 4debate Education remains the one solution that must be capitalised on by activists seeking change. In order to combat racism as well as empowering individuals who may become victim to the practice it is paramount on the part of Celebrities and professional athletes to do more than donating and speaking on social issues but also participate in the learning process.

49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick is following through on his activist promises by hosting a football camp which takes on the role of also education those who attend. The camp is a small step in the fight against oppression of Black people in the United States and it’s called “Know your rights”. The Camp received hundreds of Latino and Black children from impoverished areas while educating them on the rights they are entitled to as well as educating them on the nature of society and what plans are being made to fight systematic oppression faced by black people.

  1. You have the right to be free.
  2. You have the right to be healthy.
  3. You have the right to be brilliant.
  4. You have the right to be safe.
  5. You have the right be loved.
  6. You have the right to be courageous.
  7. You have the right to be alive.
  8. You have the right to be trusted.
  9. You have the right to be educated.
  10. You have the right to know your rights.

Influenced by the Black Panthers 10 point plan this list of rights is part of the things being used by Kaepernick and fellow organisers to inspire the next generation of youth. In order to inspire change you need to walk the walk and that what Colin seems to be trying to do organising at local levels with plans to expand this program nationally in communities all around the country.



Group – Silver Tongues (Pedro Candela Terry, Livia Gasparini, Brenden Aguasvivas, Caroline Cacabelos, Bianca Campoamor Finat)

What exactly is patriotism? Patriotism is by definition love and support for one’s country. However, this being a vague definition as so many are, leaves much interpretation as to what fits into a patriotic act. While some see it as supporting one’s government no matter the route they take, others see it as providing criticism in the hopes that their country will improve. It’s not for us to decide what is real patriotism as a vague definition will always lead to different interpretations, however we can see pros and cons within patriotism without a perfect definition.

To begin on a positive note it has helped many people overcome adversity and work hard with a source of motivation. Working for something bigger than yourself can be incredibly gratifying and we see for example many athletes who will go the extra mile to prove that their country is the best. A good example of this is Jesse Owens who did this and more. Although Jesse Owens was working not only for his country but also to disprove the Nazi doctrine of Aryan superiority, which was what made the event so remarkable. Not only did Jesse Owens win several gold medals, but he beat several world records throughout. Representing his country he was able to inspire with his incredibly performance, this pride in his country gave him the motivation to go the distance and perhaps perform better than he could have otherwise. Of course at the time in the US African Americans were still treated very badly, which thankfully has been improving over the years.

A different example of patriotism can lead to far more negative image. It was when the US was deciding whether to invade Iraq, and the actual invasion of Iraq that many used patriotism to excuse acts of barbarism committed by the US and to devalue any positions against the governmental ideology. If one was against the invasion they were labeled as anti-American, and supporters of terrorists. An example of patriotic glorification can be found in George F. Will’s description of what the US government was doing through the Iraq war “turned their minds toward using the sole remaining superpower’s power to spread Jeffersonian poetry”. By Jeffersonian poetry he is referring to the killing of millions of civilians and this disgusting war, which later was proved to be based on completely false assumptions. Of course, it sounds far nicer when you refer to this as a form of poetry. A much more in depth analysis can be found written by Brian Goss in his paper ““Jeffersonian Poetry”: an ideological analysis of George F. Will’s editorials (2002-2004)”.

These are just two examples of patriotic acts, but it can vary in how it is expressed to a far larger extent. It can be used to push one beyonds its limit, but a blind optimism towards one’s government can be dangerous and have devastating effects. How you use it is up to you, but healthy criticism and a critical eye for your country can go a long way to improve it.

805 Bruin, (Youtube) “Jesse Owens – 1936 Olympics”, 15 Jan. 2012. Retrieved from:

Will G. F., (Washington Post), 27 May 2004. Retrieved from:

Goss B. M., (Routledge), ““Jeffersonian Poetry”: an ideological analysis of George F. Will’s editorials (2002-2004)”, Journalism Studies, Volume 6, Number 4, 2005.

Anti-Centric Blog #2

The products we have looked at bring to light the contemporary reality of the so called “pink tax”. The “pink tax” refers to the overpricing of goods being sold based solely on the target market they are aimed at, namely, women. The difference in the product usually has nothing to do with a true, justifiable, or explainable difference in the gender of the consumer. The difference in how products for females are advertised and the ability of firms to market them at an elevated price is due to the social preconception (and in many instances reality) that women are willing to spend more on something that will improve their appearance, or permit them to fulfill a socially desirable gender role. We see this in the Bic Pen ad, as well as in the MyCalvins ad, where inherently gender neutral products (jeans and pens) are marketed towards females in a way that sells a social preconception on how women should be, look, or act.

What is the social solution to this issue? Should women simply refuse to consume these products and buy products for men in form of protest? Perhaps it’s not so easy, as women as a collective will not find it convenient or be motivated enough to this to the extent that it would effect the companies that sell these products. Rather, there needs to be some sort of direct awareness within society and companies regarding the subtle misogyny that underlines gendered marketing for gender neutral products.

Along with the media eliminating gendered products, society in general must stop propagating to women and men an idealized vision of the gender roles. As long as we have gendered marketing for gender neutral products such as jeans and pens, this goal cannot be completely achieved. This is an example of how sexism in advertising transfers into real life, and a discussion of possible solutions to the issues raised by biased ads.

Anti-Centric Presentation

(Elena, Catherine, Rachel, and Ellie) For our final project, Anti Centric chose the subject of sexism against women in advertising. We analyzed many different kinds of ads and gender roles found in ads, focusing on ads that oversexualized and objectified women and ads that treated women as the weaker gender who are not capable to the same successes as men. We chose these two types of ads because they are very common and are two of the most damaging types of ads. Oversexualizing women in advertisements is objectifying, unnecessary, and creates impossible standards for  women and girls worldwide. Ads like the Hunky Dory’s chips ad and the Burger King ad use sex to sell their products rather than something actually relevant to their product, and this causes many problems in the vast gender divide and contributes to the massive amounts of sexism found in the ad industry. Ads like the BIC Pen ad and the My Calvins ad, which compared women to men and implied that women were less successful, are destructive to the forward progress of women in the workforce and in general. By insinuating that men are inherently more successful than women, these ads teach that women can only seduce, look pretty, act ladylike, etc. We focused on these ads in our presentation and our paper because we think that they are important for others to see, as they are so common they might not catch the attention of many people as sexist and demeaning. We also talked about a main cause of sexism in advertising, the lack of women in the industry, and included some questions for discussion for the class since the best way to solve issues like this is through discussion and shared ideas. Based on the feedback from our presentation, we will talk more about sexism and social changes in our paper– how the ads affect society.

Smoking Presentation

For our presentation on smoking in society we worked together to research interesting facts and videos as well as advertisements and facts and figures. We each took a topic from the paper and specifically researched those topics. We found that there are many videos of old advertisements to help prove our points in the presentation and paper as well as facts and figures. After presenting our presentation we feel like our message was powerful and that it was shown correctly.

The Deacs’ Paper: What We Want to Include

After receiving feedback from our presentation we have made adjustments on what to expand on in our paper. Here is what we want to include in our paper:

  • For our group paper, we plan to expand on our review of the Syrian Refugee Crisis comparison we made between the U.S. and Turkey and relate it to the topics we studied in class.
  • This includes; Law & Freedom of Expression, The Propaganda Model, Globalization, Transforming the Media, Populism
  • We will analyze all of these theories in relation to American media systems vs. Turkish media systems
  • We will expand upon the classification of impact of the political systems (authoritarian and democratic) on the media system


Reyna Baker, Kat Huber, Melissa Lombard, Tyler Roberts, Katie Ward

The Deacs’ Presentation for Project

We presented on our topic, the Syrian Refugee Crisis, and mapped out a specific media message. We researched and presented on how the media in Turkey versus the United States portrays the Syrian Refugee Crisis. By including a brief introduction on the history of the topic, defining the media message, defining the audience, creating a media message, pre-testing the message, and implementing the message, we extended on our topic effectively. These are our respective ideas:

  1. Define the message: The acceptance of Syrian refugees throughout Europe, specifically, Turkey and analyzing Turkish media outlets and their patterns on reporting the crisis.
  2. Define the audience: Readers and viewers of Turkish and the United States’ media outlets Subgroups: viewers who are given opinions as facts, viewers who are swayed by incorrect coverage, viewers who want to be informed, young viewers using the internet and social media as primary source of information
  3. Creating the media message
    1. Corporate concentration (Turkish media outlets and US media outlets are owned by 6 main companies, but Turkey has a lot of government interference)
    2. Constitutional rights (Turkey and US both have freedom of speech of some sort, however Turkey is often more censored and lacks certain freedoms)
    3. Government interference (Turkish government interferes and censors media that does not support them, access can be blocked, US government does not censor, but there is bias based on media outlet ownership)
    4. Access (Turkey is the 5th highest country in jailing journalists, US journalists have no fear of being jailed)
    5. Political model (Turkey has a polarized political model and the US has a two party system model, but is not as polarized as Turkey)
    6. Citizen journalism (social media plays a large role in the journalism of this topic in Turkey and the US)
  4. Pretest: The message was majorly pretested through the use of photographs and social media, specifically in the US. Turkey did not really have an opportunity to pretest the message as it is very censored by the government.
  5. Implement
    1. Focus on one media network at a time (citizen journalism, social media)
    2. Be visual (the use of images to gain empathy)
    3. Tailor the approach to your suspected audience (use of social media when Turkey is 4th largest user of facebook, US is the first)
    4. Convey your messages in the simplest way possible (the use of hashtags and simple phrase, like #RefugeeCrisis)


Reyna Baker, Kat Huber, Melissa Lombard, Tyler Roberts, Katie Ward

Tobacco and Society

For Michaela, Marta, Natalie, and Carmela’s final paper, we are going to be expanding on the topics that Marta and Carmela wrote their individual papers on. Marta wrote about different types of cigarette ads, and how they differed in different countries and time periods. She touched on the sexism that was present in a lot of the messages that were sent in those advertisements. Carmela discussed which was more effective advertising on cigarette boxes, words or pictures?

We are going to take these topics and expand on them for our final paper. In addition to these issues, we are also going to be discussing differences in smoking tendencies in a variety of different countries, smoking advertisements on TV, smoking laws, cigarette costs, and the impact that smoking and smoking ads have on society.

Although smoking is a frequently discussed topic, we are going to discuss more than just why or why not someone should do it, but instead let the facts speak for themselves. Tobacco companies have a huge influence on society, even for those who are not smokers, and we are going to explain why.