An Examination of Face-ism: How Facial Prominence Enforces the Objectification of the Female Body in the Media

An article by researcher Dane Archer and his colleagues, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 1983, analyzed face-ism in more than 1,700 published photographs in U.S. periodicals and found that “males were more likely to be represented in terms of their heads or faces, whereas females were more likely to be represented in terms of their bodies” (Sparks, 2014, p. 271). It is an unexpected finding, and certainly a novel one as well, but it aligns with the aforementioned trend in media to place high value on women’s bodies. Although not much extensive research exists on face-ism today, and hypotheses related to the origin of its effects have still yet to be tested, I contend that the reason female face-to-body ratios are less than that of males is because the female body is subject to objectification more often in media, which subsequently leads to its prioritization over females’ faces in photographs.

Mass Media & Meat Consumption: Normalizing Eating Animals

For this short paper, I decided to look at the influence mass media has on our behavior. Specifically I focused on advertising, television, and movies and the effects they have on our behavior and food choices, and how they normalize eating animals. Why, I wondered, are 3/4 of the nation ‘animal lovers’ who want to ‘eliminate all animal suffering and cruelty,’ yet less than 5% of the nation is vegetarian? What impacts does the media have on influencing a population against animal cruelty to participate in it directly?

Depictions of Sexual Assault Perpetrators: Media Reports Perpetuate Implicit Racism

News journalists’ perpetuation of aggressive and violent stereotypes about Black sexual assault perpetrators is not a new trend. The implicit racism behind depictions of Black assaulters becomes salient when compared to descriptions of White perpetrators

Are Micro-transactions in Video Games Ethical?

Many game companies are preventing the consumers from receiving all of the content they were originally promised and masking it as “additional content” that they players can buy at a later time. Not only that, but they are also making the gameplay unbalanced and in favor of the individuals who spend more money on the game by allowing them to purchase specific items that make their character much stronger such as additional weapons that were otherwise almost impossible to acquire any other way or special abilities that would have taken hundreds of hours to unlock. This “pay-to-win” model that many developers and and companies have adopted is essentially stealing money form the consumer because they are withholding content they had previously promised


Cultivating the Music Industry

My paper discusses how media cultivation can be applied to audio music and other mediums relating to the music industry. Though cultivation is generally only applied to visual media, I use the examples of rap music and controversial lyrics to emphasize the importance of media literacy in easing the effects of cultivation.

Shedding Light on War and Religion

My paper titled “Shedding Light on War and Religion” discusses two covers. One is the cover of TIME magazine with Pope Francis on the front and the other is the cover of American Sniper. I chose these two covers because they are of personal interest to me since I am both Catholic and an avid supporter of veterans, and also because war and religion are considered controversial. I wanted to discuss how the framing and semiotics of these two covers affect the viewer’s opinions on the topics. Furthermore, I wanted to demonstrate how these two covers attract audiences on both sides of these controversial issues.

Media Literacy: Avoiding The Exploitative Practices of Personalized Advertising

We live in a society where advertising increasingly presents surveillance as “personalization,” exploitation as “participation,” and products as “lifestyles.” Additionally, they do this is a way that is progressively blurring the line between content and reality, accentuating the need for media literacy. While advertisers turn to their consumers more than ever for input, we as a society increasingly mistake this control for power. For while we may be controlling the advertising content, we don’t realize that the advertising itself is controlling us—exploiting and manipulating personalization and brand loyalty to present us with a false sense of security and power. Yet, through heightening our media literacy, we have a chance to become aware of our baselines, fluctuation factors, and risk levels and avoid the temptations of these advertising practices, and in doing so take back the control of the media that we actively consume.

#Activism: The Role of Media Literacy in the Success of Online Activism

There have been several notable attempts at online activism in past 4-5 years as a result of the public’s desire to have a say in news media’s process of agenda setting. I was particularly interested in examining Kony 2012, Bring Back Our Girls, and Black Lives Matter. Each of these movements was more effective than the last. What factors contributed to the varying degrees of success that each movement experienced? I concluded that media literacy plays a large role, and is positively correlated with the success of online activist efforts. Furthermore, I also present the argument that for young people, media literacy takes less deliberate effort and is curated more intuitively because the majority of their socialization actually takes place via the internet. Exciting stuff, right?!

Are We Recording?: How Hit Record Re Democratized the Internet

Hit Record has created a profitable business model and a way of creating collaborative art that upholds the democratic principles initially inspired with the creation of the World Wide Web.