Your last assignment is to tackle and discuss a stereotype of personal importance to you, or which you are currently seeing from the news or mainstream culture. Perhaps it is an image from advertising or the news, or a scene from a show or film, or a meme that is viral online. I want you to break down the meaning created or depicted by your example. Use words from readings, class discussion and outside articles, such as denotation and connotation, paradigms and syntagms, metonyms, paradigm shifts, dominant readings.
What are alternative readings (or meanings) for the same stereotype? In what ways have the dominant meaning changed over time, or is changing now? For example, note how Trump is changing perceptions of what is Presidential, especially in the wake of George Bush Sr.’s passing. Another example is the selection of Idris Elba as “The Sexiest Man Alive.” As mentioned in class, note how you all experienced a huge shift when Obama was elected President a decade ago. In many ways, Staten Island is experiencing many shifts, such as the expansion of the mall, which is changing Staten Island’s perception. Meaning is created, and yet we are always living through times that changes meaning and how we see things culturally too.