Objective: Sociologists often question: to what degree is the media a reflection

Objective: Sociologists often question: to what degree is the media a reflection of
society? And to what extent do media shape society itself? Media is a socialization agent which
shapes how individuals understand culture and view reality. In this assignment, you are asked to select one source of
popular media and analyze the manner in which it portrays cultural norms, ideas, beliefs, and values. These aspects of
culture can be related to gender, race, age, social class, the family, religion, the environment, or any other feature of
society you wish to analyze. Your goal is to explain how the sources of media you choose depict culture and potentially
shape the reality of those who consume this media regularly. You must correctly use examples from your choice of
media and state which aspects of culture you are choosing to analyze (gender, race etc.) apply the terms: norms, ideas,
beliefs, values, or stereotypes.
Assignment Format: You can choose from the below two options. Each analytical paper should be a minimum of 2.5
pages, typed, double spaced, in 12pt. font, with 1-inch margins.
Paper Guidelines:
Media Analysis option #1-Music (2.5-3 pages)
For the music option, select a song or music video to analyze. This can be any song or video of any genre (corrido, rap,
hip hop, country, punk, metal, ska etc.).
In the first paragraph you should:
1. give the title, artist, and year of production, 2. provide a short 1-3 sentence summary of what the song is about, and
3. tell me the one or more features of society you will be analyzing.
In the main body paragraphs, you will:
-analyze how this song or video is portraying cultural norms, ideas, beliefs and/or values.
Remember, your goal here is not to simply translate or interpret the song, but to explain how this song is representing
or challenging cultural norms, ideas, values, or stereotypes. For example, what is the song or video showing viewers
about what is normal/not normal, right or wrong, or true or untrue, regarding some feature of society, such as gender,
race, sex, family, money/social class, etc. (*You do not have to select all of these topics; one or two is fine-i.e.: gender
and sex)
-Explain in detail providing examples from the song (lyrics or music video scenes).
In the last paragraph:
-In conclusion, how do you feel about this type of media (music/videos) in general? Do you believe it portrays a positive
or negative message? Do you feel that it has the power to shape consumers perception of reality and society? Explain.
Media Analysis option #2-TV Show or Movie (2.5-3 pages)
For the TV or Movie option, select a television program or movie to analyze.
In the first paragraph you should:
1. give the title, artist, and year of production, 2. provide a short 1-3 sentence summary of what the film or show is
about, and 3. tell me the one or more features of society you will be analyzing.
In the main body paragraphs, you will:
-analyze how this song or video is portraying cultural norms, ideas, beliefs and/or values.
Remember, your goal here is not to simply summarize the whole movie or show, but to explain how this source of
media is representing or challenging cultural norms, ideas, values, or stereotypes. For example, what is the film or
program showing viewers about what is normal/not normal, right or wrong, or true or untrue, regarding some feature
of society, such as gender, race, sex, family, money/social class, etc. (*You do not have to select all of these topics; i.e.:
race and family)
-Explain in detail providing examples from the show or film
In the last paragraph:
-In conclusion, how do you feel about this type of media (film/tv in general)? Do you believe it portrays a positive or
negative message? Do you feel that it has the power to shape consumers perception of reality and society? Explain.

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