Using Controversial Media To Teach Issues about Gender.Report as inadecuate

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This paper discusses the merits and limitations of using both fiction and nonfiction films and videos to teach issues related to gender (especially issues of appearance, dieting, aging, abuse, rape, and power relationships between the sexes) in gender communication courses (and by extension, other communication courses, such as interpersonal communication). The paper explores the benefits and problems associated with the use of controversial media in such classes, especially media texts which have generated debates about gender in the popular press. Such media texts include various feature films (e.g. "Thelma and Louise,""The First Wives Club,""The Accused,""The War of the Roses,""The Color Purple,""In the Company of Men"; television series (e.g. "Absolutely Fabulous,""Roseanne"); and documentary videos (e.g. "Dreamworlds II" and "Slim Hopes"). Limiting discussion to a selected few of the above (for manageability), the course can explore objectives and strategies for using controversial media, including dealing with student resistance and/or emotional responses, based on experiences in using these and other media texts in communication classes. Contains 56 references. Sample questions for use in class for "Absolutely Fabulous,""Slim Hopes,""Thelma and Louise," and "Dreamworlds II" are appended. (Author)

Descriptors: Classroom Communication, Communication Problems, Film Study, Films, Gender Issues, Higher Education, Instructional Effectiveness, Interpersonal Communication, Mass Media Use, Sex Differences, Sex Role, Sex Stereotypes, Television Viewing, Videotape Recordings

Author: Baker, Barbara L.


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