Looking back, the course-related themes and topics that I would suggest discussing further during the final course periods is ideology in films and in today’s contemporary American society. There were many topics we discussed that touched on everyday issues. However, this topic in particular stood out to me because of the prevalence of ideology in almost every source of media, from films to articles on your Facebook feed. I also really enjoyed discussing the idea of personal reality, and how one’s personal experiences influence and shape the very fiber of who we are. Going further into discussing both ideology and perceived realities could help students learn more about the ideas and intentions behind a certain film, book, article, song, TV show etc. Understanding another person’s perceptions expressed through media is important in analyzing the intended message or underlying meaning.
I enjoyed reading Ms. Marvel for challenging the ideology of Muslims since they are often portrayed as a negative stereotype such as the Arab-Muslim terrorist character. I am not one to take an interest in comic books. However, after reading this, my previously held opinions about comics have slightly changed. It was refreshing to read a comic that not only challenged typical comic-book hero roles and stereotypes, but also of Muslims. I am also interested in learning more about the Muslim religion. My least favorite reading of the year was the paper by Bonnie Brennen (2012) “Quantitative vs. qualitative research” in Qualitative Research Methods for Media Studies. I personally was not interested in the article; however, it did provide useful information about qualitative and quantitative research methods. It was hard for me to absorb the information because I was not particularly interested in the subject. I found Brennen’s discussion about the importance of a researcher’s transparency when discussing their intentions and motives. She touches on the idea that research is a process that a researcher does because they have a genuine interest or intrinsic value held with the topic. Their previous experiences and biases can shape the research’s outcome, process and analysis in order to fit an idealized result. This excerpt is found in the “Quantitative vs Qualitative” subheading,”As we consider connections between a socially constructed reality and the qualitative research process, it is important to consider the notion of transparency. When researchers openly describe their theoretical foundations and research strategies, along with the basis for their decisions, intentions and motivations, readers become aware of the potential uses and implications of the research (Rakow, 2011).”
Next semester, I will be taking 17 business credit hours. I planned on taking all business classes because I needed to fulfill the core business class requirements in order to graduate on-time with an Accounting major and Economics minor. I plan to study abroad this summer if I don’t get an internship with Whole Foods or another company. I am sure that I will take summer school this summer because I would like to lighten my course load next year. If I study abroad, I was considering going to a school in Dublin, Ireland to take an upper-division economics course about the EU and an intro sociology course about the culture of Ireland. In the summer post-graduation, I plan on interning for one of the “Big Four” accounting firms in order to complete the internship credit for my major. I also want to travel at some point this summer. I considered going to Nepal to hike to the base camp of Mt. Everest with a friend of mine who I met while in Peru as a Human Rights Intern for a non-profit this past summer.
I think that the topics of transhumanism, surveillance, infiltration, and dreams would encourage intriguing discussions. All the topics sound interesting; however, I think that hearing about other students’ opinions on these specific subjects would be a great learning experience. Other themes that might work well in this class include international media vs American media and propaganda. The propaganda is everywhere. I know I follow fairly liberal media sources because my ideas align with the opinions they publish. I think it would be interesting to get out of that echo-chamber and see the other side of the spectrum. Fro-
m what I understand, American TV, movies, books and music, are amongst the most popular in the world. There is a global spotlight on the U.S. and its creation of these mediums. If there was an evening movie viewing required for this class, I would at first say yes I’m all-in, but when the time comes I would be stressed about going (assuming it’s after my track practice).