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Zoheb
Registered User
(11/12/04 7:19 am)
An Investgation into Disney Animation And The Reinforcemen
Hi all, this is my first post so be gentle! My name is Zoheb and I'm in my final year of studying Graphic Design at Coventry University in England, I have a 4000 word Dissertation to do and I have chosen to look at racism and sexism in Disney animations,

In my dissertation I want to show that by using sexual and racial stereotypes, Disney is effectively socialising children and reinforcing negative stereotypes. I aim to show that by consistently portraying both men and women in stereotypical roles Disney is doing nothing to break the old fashion traditional views of men and women in the patriarchal society, although Disney is constantly using new technology it is still delivering the same message of what roles men and women should conform to.

The title for my Dissertation is:

An Investigation into Disney Animation And The Reinforcement Of Negative Sexual and Racial Stereotypes.
(It has to be 15 words max)

So far I am in the process of researching and defining Racism and Sexism as well as giving a brief overview of Animation and Disney, after this I will prove that Disney does in-fact use negative stereotypes in its films and after that I aim to show the actual effects such negative stereotypes can have on children during their formative years, I have a few problems that I would like your help with: firstly, the construction, can you see any areas I have not covered? I feel as if there is a chapter missing, this is the first dissertation I have ever written and am finding it a little difficult, I have a Dissertation tutor but he is useless, I have emailed him several times for help but to no avail, I am in the process of transferring to another tutor, I suppose im looking for some guidance, I feel I need a little direction with my dissertation, or for someone to point me towards a site(s) or books(s) that can help me write and construct my dissertation, any help whatsoever will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Zoheb :)

AliceCEB
Registered User
(11/12/04 8:50 am)
Re: An Investgation into Disney Animation And The Reinforcem
Have you done a search of this site yet, for ideas? You can start with the thread "disney version vs. original fairy tale" just a few threads down from here.

Good luck,
Alice

Edited by: AliceCEB at: 11/12/04 8:51 am
Zoheb
Registered User
(11/12/04 10:21 am)
Re:
Hi Alice, thanks for the reply, yes I have looked on this and many other forums, aswell as looked at various books, the most usefull being; From Mouse to Mermaid, I was just wondering what people think about my subject and if they could help me in any way, or point me towards a site or book i may of missed?

Thanks alot

Zoheb :D

Veronica Schanoes
Registered User
(11/12/04 5:37 pm)
Re:
I think the part of your thesis you will have most trouble with is evidence on the effects of Disney. For one thing, Disney is but a small part of the forces that socialize children, and tracing any particular effects back to it will be problematic. Disney may reinforce certain stereotypes--I think it does. But I wouldn't go so far as to say that Disney itself produces negative effects in children. There are far too many children, far too many competing influences, and far too many different reactions to Disney to make such a statement.

Zoheb
Registered User
(11/15/04 8:11 am)
Re:
Good Point, thanks for that, how would you suggest I steer my dissertation?

Thanks,

Zoheb

Zoheb
Registered User
(11/17/04 7:34 am)
Re:
Hi, I'm really having trouble with the structure of my dissertation, I have outlined it below but I feel I need some direction,

For my Introduction I have outlined the Disney Corporation as well as given a brief overview of Stereotypes (both sexual and racial)

For chapter one, I have gone onto describe in more detail the Disney Corporation and when it became popular, and the current world view at that time, after this I have written more about stereotypes and the effect it can have on children and adults.

In my second chapter section I have shown evidence of Disney's many stereotypes and analysed the evidence.

I don't know where to go from there, I can either do another chapter showing the effect that Disney stereotypes have had or can have on children or adults but I think I will have trouble with this as Disney is a small part of the forces that socialise children, and tracing any particular effects back to it will be problematic. I have shown that Disney reinforces certain stereotypes, but I donít think I can go on to say that Disney itself produces negative effects in children. There are far too many children, far too many competing influences, and far too many different reactions to Disney to make such a statement, I think after showing the evidence in my second chapter I should go into my conclusion which I have yet to write, strange as it sounds, Iím a little stuck with what I should actually say in my conclusion!

Can you please give me some feedback on how I have structured my dissertation?

Thanks,

Zoheb.

AliceCEB
Registered User
(11/17/04 9:11 am)
Re:
Zoheb, have you thought of how the stereotypes reflect society and the place different stereotyped group have in society (rather than trying to show that the stereotypes mold society)? You could then study how these stereotypes have changed through the history of Disney--and the changing stereotypes of society.

Just a thought.

Alice

Zoheb
Registered User
(11/18/04 4:54 am)
Re:
Thanks alice, thats a great suggestion, I finally managed to arrange a meeting with my tutor today fo 10 minutes its pathetic, i'll see what feedback he gives me.:rolleyes

Zoheb
Registered User
(11/18/04 5:01 am)
Re:
Hi, i'm currently looking at the time period when Disney rose to popularity, I want to talk about the current world view at that time, I want to talk about the sterotypes that were around in those times, and to state that these are evident in Disney animations of that time, Snow white, Dumbo etc...

But i'm having trouble finding out exactly what the world view was at that time? can anybody point me in the direction of a good website?

The time period i'm aiming at is the 1920's and 1930's

Thanks, any help would be great...

Zoheb

AliceCEB
Registered User
(11/18/04 8:37 am)
Re:
Zoheb, I'm not a historian, but I think if you're looking for information about the 1920s and 1930s the web is probably not the best source. Here are a few avenues (in no particular oder) that I might consider: look at movies from that period and take notes. Most universities have archives that you can view. Consider the writings of feminists of that period. This is also the period of the Harlem Renaissance and there is scholarly writing about the the stereotypes that were being dashed. The British Empire was beginning to unravel and fascism was on the rise--are there any historians you can talk to who can point to you good secondary sources for the cultural mores of the period?

I don't know if any of this was helpful, or even on point, but I don't know that this board can substitute for a good adviser.
Best of luck,
Alice

p.s. For lack of a good adviser, do you have a friendly librarian who can point you in the right direction?

Edited by: AliceCEB at: 11/18/04 8:43 am
Heidi Anne Heiner
ezOP
(11/18/04 9:42 am)
Re:
One of my most memorable papers in my history classes was the assignment to study a year's worth of a periodical from any year in the past century. I chose Life Magazine and then wrote about the portrayal of women in the articles and advertisements. A similar approach might be useful in this topic. Choose the year Snow White was released and see if it's values are reflected in the popular periodicals of the time. This way you get to use more primary sources, too, instead of just searching for previous scholarship to regurgitate. Also, many universities have bound copies of periodicals from that time instead of only microfiche. It's fun to be able to actually turn the pages instead of wrestle a fiche reader.

Heidi

evil little pixie
Registered User
(11/18/04 10:41 am)
Re:
As a history major, I'd agree that websites are probably not the best source for info about the '20s and '30s. Primary sources are what you want. Looking at magazines and newspapers is an excellent idea, but for my own research I've found that diaries and letters are great too. I haven't done much 1900s research, but for the one such project I did do (a very specific, locally-focused one) interviews with people who had been there were essential. I don't know exactly what's available at your university, but if they have an online library catalogue, try searching some key words like "diaries" "letters" or "1920s". You'll probably get a lot of stuff that won't work for you, but look carefully and there might be a few good sources buried in there. And talk to people: librarians, someone in the history department, relatives or friends who were alive during the period you're interested in. Good luck!

nyac
Unregistered User
(11/20/04 1:21 pm)
Disney

Check out the article,

Giroux, H.A. (1997). Are Disney movies good for your kids? in S.R. Steinberg & J. Kincheloe (Eds.), Kidsculture: The corporate contruction of childhood (pp. 53-67). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

He has lots of references in the notes that could lead to good sources. He (quoting Jon Wiener, a history professor) discusses how Disney portrayal of Main Streets America not only fictionalizes and trivializes history, but represents an appropriation of the past...Pocahontas would be another example of misrepresenting history.

If you are looking at racism, you may want to mention the original lyrics in "Arabian Nights" from Aladdin. 'Oh I come from a land/ From a faraway place/ Where the caravan camels roam. Where they cut off your ear/ If they don't like your face. It's barbaric, but hey, it's home'. The context of the Gulf War at the same time can't be ignored.

Sexism is also prevelant - while the females are often protrayed as strong and independant, it is their relationships to males that in the end defines them.

Zoheb
Registered User
(11/21/04 7:58 am)
Re: Disney
Thnak you all for the the help, my tutor actually helped me alot, I not have some structure, i have to hand in a first draught on Tuesday and it's going well...

Thanks again :D

Ruby
Unregistered User
(11/29/04 9:36 am)
Disney and the Art of Exclusion
This site deals mostly with the movies made after 980, but it could give you some ideas. www.his.com/~ajp/thesis.htm

Heidi Anne Heiner
ezOP
(11/30/04 1:22 pm)
Re: Disney and the Art of Exclusion
This page is under construction, but there should be some sources to help further with this topic:

FAQ: Disney and Fairy Tales

Heidi

Sarcastic
Unregistered User
(12/5/04 1:39 pm)
think of times
Of course, the question would be whether Disney was INTENTIONAL in it's characterization and drawings to reinforce stereotypes.

My biggest complaint with many of the movie reviewers on IMDB.Com and other places is the tendency to project modern day thought into older films and 'over anaylze'. Though yes, the stereotypes are there, and rather negative, such as Dumbo's crows, but unfortunately that was a VERY common protrayal of blacks on stage and in film. This is about the reason the Ba'er Rabbit Stories such as the Tar Baby and the Laughing Place is almost never seen today, they are actually very entertaining stories, it's just the concept of the Uncle Remus that sends the Politically correct screaming.

For example, Lady and the Tramp -- I've seen people BICKER over the 'dirtiness' of the streets, and why it doesn't look so dirty. I keep thinking: "this was in the '50s, without computers, do the artists really want to draw papers and tin cans over and over again?"

There is a fine line between not unwanting to upset people to getting upset over nothing (remember the Master/Slave incident in '03? or the renaming of Spotted Dick to Spotted Richard in English menus?)

Veronica Schanoes
Registered User
(12/5/04 3:58 pm)
Re: think of times
Well, yes, racist representations of black people were common in film. And they were intentional. They were common because racism was accepted among white people and therefore they endowed black characters with stereotypical traits.

I don't really care whether or not Disney's representations were intentional--that's a viewpoint I've expressed in other threads too. They're still around now, cluttering up people's psychic landscapes, and if they're unintentional, it reveals even more about the history of racism and sexism in our culture.

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