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. Discuss how it happened and if it’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.