George Gerbner’s Cultivation Theory posits that media exposure leads us to “cultivate” certain perceptions, but it’s not immediate: it’s gradual, cumulative, and significant.
What have you “cultivated” from TV and other media? Write a one page essay that explain how media have shaped your perception of any of the following (or choose your own):
- Gender roles (what it means to be a man or woman)
- Race & Ethnicity (white, black, Asian, Latino, Mid-East)
- Disabled people
- Old people
- Hip Hop or Rap artists
- Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, Bi-Sexual people
- Republicans and Democrats (Conservatives and Liberals)
- Activists and Protestors
- Religions (Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Mormon, Scientologists)
- Homeless people
Discuss which media portrayals or messages influenced your view – was it TV shows, characters, websites, video games, cartoons, or news reports? DISCUSS ANY OTHER FACTORS BESIDES MEDIA (family, faith, culture, etc). Discuss how it happened and if itâ€™s an accurate perception.
Alternatively, instead of writing about yourself, you may write about someone you know who you believe has been heavily influenced by media.