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English 103 - Representation in Film

Representation Matters

Essay # 2: Representation Matters Prompt: In a well-developed, thesis driven, and research-based essay, analyze the implications of how a specific group of people are represented in a film produced in the last ten years.

Here are a few steps to select your focus:

• Select a specific group from sample categories such as: class, race, class, ethnicity, or nationality, gender, disability, language, sexuality, or professional identity. You may want to examine a character’s internationality, meaning how several identities intersect within a person.

• Choose a specific feature film that exhibits some complexity of story and character development Assignment Requirements:

• Reach 5-7 MLA formatted pages

• Integrate and explain direct quotes from at least six sources in addition to the film.

 *At least three should be scholarly sources from the MSJC library databases focused on academic research from fields such as media studies, psychology, economics, statistics, or political science. The purpose of these sources is to help develop your analysis of the psychological, economic, or political implications of media representation.

* At least three should be class texts that are relevant to your argument about the film or show. The purpose of these texts is to help you apply class concepts to your film or show.

         Relevant Class Concepts: These questions are intended to help you brainstorm some approaches to your essay and should not be used to organize your essay. Not all concepts relate to every film or show.

         • How complex or simplistic does the film portray its characters? Are any relevant characters invisible (missing) or underdeveloped from the story?

         • Is this a stage 1, stage 2, or stage 3 film or show? How does this film contribute to the Three E’s?

         • Does this film reinforce or challenge overt or inferential bigotry?

         • How could this pattern of representation affect how people see this group of people or how this group sees themselves?

         • Which cognitive biases could this film reinforce or challenge? Research Component: Why does representation matter? Research the implications (positive or negative consequences) of this pattern of representation. What cause/effect relationships have researchers found between how people are portrayed in media and how those portrayals shape how we see others and/or ourselves?

80% of your essay should be focused on your critical analysis of the film using specific film details and support from your sources. 20% of your essay should examine the broader implications of this pattern of representation. In other words, if more films like this become the norm, how could this shape how we see this group of people?