Oppositional Gaze Blog Post
For this assignment, you will use bell hook’s theory of the oppositional gaze to examine a personal viewing experience. Looking at media with an oppositional gaze means critically assessing constructions of gender, sexuality, race, nation, class, ability and refusing to identify with dominant readings of the text.
In your blog post, you will address how you applied the oppositional gaze to something you’ve viewed. This can include movies or TV, and it can include films we’ve watched in class or works you’ve watched on your own. The focus should be on a single work (film or TV episode).
You don’t have to approach this from a gender perspective; you can approach it from any perspective in which you might view yourself as marginalized: race, sexual orientation, nationality, economic class, age, ability, etc. That is, chose a work in which you recognize that a version of you was represented onscreen with problematic elements.
Components of your Analysis
1) Identify the dominant reading of the media text. What primary interpretation does the film or TV show intend? How do you know?
2) Identify why this dominant interpretation is flawed. What ideas or realities does the dominant reading perpetuate? Why is this a problem? Use theoretical approaches from class to articulate your view.
3) Describe how you employed an oppositional gaze to challenge the media text. How did you view it with a critical eye? How did you shift your focus in viewing the work to find pleasure in it? Or, how did you focus on different aspects of the text in order to find good in it? In other words, explain how you read the film or TV text against the grain, and what new meaning you were able to take from it as a result.
Blog Post Requirements
- 1300-1500 words.
- Catchy and descriptive title.
- Cite sources (author and page number).
- Include media examples from the work under examination as evidence for your argument (video clips, film stills, images, and/or audio). If you can’t find clips from the scenes you want to describe, you can describe it in prose.
- At least 2 quotes from course readings to provide evidence of your argument. Indicate who/where it’s from and page number when you mention it.
- A well-formulated argument with a clear thesis statement upfront and supporting explanation throughout.
- Underline your thesis statement.
- A clear discussion of the dominant interpretation, a discussion of what is problematic about that interpretation, and how you employed an oppositional gaze.
- Relevant tags: Oppositional Gaze, title film or TV show, theories/concepts from class.