Category Archives: *Sociology (general)

Your Mom Hates This Post


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Your Mom Hates This Post

The advertisers for Dead Space 2 certainly created an unusual set of ads for promoting the game. The premise of the ad was to show some of the gruesome scenes from the game, and show mothers’ reactions to them. All the mothers demonstrated disgust and shock and told the advertisers that they hated the game. This was an interesting way to try to sell the game because it intentionally portrayed the game as deviant because to its violence and gore. It made it seem as though every gamer would want the game because the mothers hated it. By doing this, the advertisers tried to appeal to what they saw to be a deviant subculture of gamers who played particularly violent games against their mothers’ wishes. The campaign could have been taking advantage of the Differential Association Theory (p 197) because it suggests that cool and hardcore gamers will play the game, which plays on the emotions of those who want to fit into that group. Another theory the advertisers could have been counting on is the Labeling Theory (p 192) because they thought that people who play these games could potentially accept the deviant label and engage in secondary deviance by seeking out violent games that would enhance their feeling of belonging in the subculture. While this may have worked on some individuals, I am sure a significant portion of gamers, including myself, were interested in the game because they had played the first one or it seemed like an interesting game. Part of the point is that people tend not to care whether their mothers like the game or not, and those old enough could buy the game without their mothers’ help. This campaign had received both harsh criticism for unintended messages that the ad could send and praise for the novel approach the company took.

Submitted by Samantha Parrotte

Against The Grain


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Against The Grain

I chose this picture, which is a map of different colleges throughout the country because of the norm that society pushes on all children graduating from high school. From the beginning of school it seems that all these teachers are doing is preparing you for the next level. Throughout high school I could not even tell you how many times the teachers brought up the fact that this exercise or that picture is getting me ready for the ‘next level’ (college). I find the article attached interesting because it gives the opinion of plenty of successful Authors, Vice-President’s, etc. who say that it is not worth getting into the amount of debt that you would only for a degree. Recent graduates are leaving college with the average of $25,250, which is three to four times as much as it was 20 years ago. The link also mentions the success of college-dropouts like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, who are obviously one in a million type deals, however it leaves you thinking, is the degree, and following the social norm of attending college and getting yourself into the type of debt you leave with is actually worth it.

Submitted by Vinnie Sabba

Wage Inequality


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Wage Inequality

Wage inequality is some what of an epidemic. I thought that this image and article summed up the concept pretty well of the lower/middle class being left behind to survive while the upper class makes money from them and keeps it all to themselves. Monetary inequality is what starts war and leads to further corruption, therefore it must be prevented because in the end, it is still a social construction. “Human action produces inequality, and people can organize to empower themselves and reduce inequality,” (130).

Submitted by Rachel Farmer

Starring in the face of the norm.


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Starring in the face of the norm.

In this photo you will find Lupita Nyong’o, an African woman who has taken the acting and fashion world by storm. Earlier this year she was named one of the most beautiful woman alive and won an oscar for her role in 12 years a slave. In the photo you see her starring down a king cobra, a deadly and viscous snake. I choose this image because it stood out to me. I immediately thought about all the back lash she got for nagging a much coveted spot on the vogue cover and for her oscar win. Lupita’s looks aren’t typical of what our society would say is the standard of beauty. The dominant culture would go for ivory skin, and straight hair. She is none of those things, she is dark skinned her hair is cut close and she is still gorgeous. This image made me think of subcultures and how there are groups in our society who are tired of the dominant culture’s view of what is beauty. Her acceptance and winning of an oscar and being on the cover of vogue seemed to mark a change in my eyes. Her looking into the cobras eyes coming to its level shows a power shift, a rising up of a smaller culture to face the ideas of a bigger and older culture.

Submitted by Sherrie Timberlake

Empowerment


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Empowerment

The entire Aerie Real Campaign made a big impact on me when I first heard of it. It seems to be summed up nicely in this little video, though as a disclaimer, can I just say that I was quite anxious to curate this specific piece since it DOES show a scantily clad young lady. However, this hesitancy itself is part of why I think this campaign is valuable and sociologically relevant.

For the most obvious reason, I think that this advertisement is valuable because it redefines beauty, to a large degree. Beauty in the eyes of Aerie is not goddess-gorgeous anymore. But beauty is also not exactly about “loving your body just as it is.” These models are healthy and glowing–they are not re-touched to look impossibly thin and blemish-free, but it DOES look like they are active and healthy. If you know that you are healthy, no matter if you are carrying a few extra pounds or a few too few pounds, then yes, you are beautiful, and I think Aerie is celebrating that. The pressure seems to be off for young girls to always be wishing they looked like models, because suddenly, they do look like models.

For a less obvious reason (and the reason that I decided to use this despite my hesitancy) I think that these sorts of real-life, unapologetic advertisements could help reduce the oversexualization of women’s bodies. When I was in France, I went to a beach where topless sunbathing was allowed. I was struck by how this did not seem super scandalous and sexy, but rather, everyday and ordinary, like watching a guy jog by without a shirt on. Women (most women…) don’t ogle every shirtless jogger because the chest is part of the human body, and the male chest is something we’re used to seeing–it’s not forbidden, and thus not as sexualized. The Aerie ad with it’s total acceptance of and pride in the normalcy of a healthy woman’s body seems like a very empowering step for which Aerie should be commended. As a huge company–being part of American Eagle as well–Aerie was taking a lot of risks in running this campaign, but I think that they knew that it could spark wonderful changes in society as a whole, by changing people’s individual thoughts about women’s bodies.

Submitted by Laura Seabourne