Goal: In this discussion post you will describe and analyze how language is used to stereotype certain kinds of people in feature-length animated films. You can model your post on Lippi-Green’s “Teaching Children How to Discriminate,” but you need to analyze a newer film. This post is a little longer than the other ones, but I think you will enjoy the assignment. Make sure you start early to give yourself enough time to watch the whole film before you begin your analysis.
Instructions to help you prepare:
First, READ: “Teaching Children to Discriminate” by Lippi-Green. Find her argument and underline it. As you read the article, see how she analyzes the use of accent in the films. What does she argue that using stereotyped language does? WATCH: the video lecture. I discuss the article in detail.
Second, SELECT a film: Choose a full-length animated film produced after 2000. It must be a feature-length movie released in the US in English. It does not have to be a Disney film. (Choose one Lippi-Green does not discuss in her article). It is OK if you chose the same film as another student. Just make sure your post is original.
Watch the film and pay attention to: Which different accents are used by different characters? How does language help to evoke particular stereotyped identities?
Third, write your post following the instructions below. Start a new thread (hit reply to my prompt, and then make the title of the film you chose the first line of your post).
Fourth, Respond to at least two other students’ posts. Write at least 1 paragraph per response. Don’t just say “I agree”, but try to develop the conversation. Ask questions, compare films or styles of language use. Respond to their claims, etc.
Here is how you write your post: Your original post must include the following sections.
- Introduction: Introduce what you are doing and why (which film you chose, introduce Lippi-Green’s argument, and then state your own). Briefly summarize the movie’s plot and its main points.
- Mention the film’s location and the language people would logically be speaking there.
- Synthesis: Give a systematic description of the varieties of English used in the film.
- Do the main characters use standard American or British English? Are there lots of accents? What other non-mainstream ways of speaking aren’t tied to accent?
- Describe the relevant characters. Include their gender, what they look like, how they dress, their occupation, their friends, and their role in the movie. Connect this to the way they speak.
- Include at least one quote from the film.
- Analyze your findings
- What are the linkages between characterization and language in this film?
- What choices, jobs, roles, do characters have and is this linked to their gender, and speech patterns?
- Which stereotypes are evoked in this film, and how does language help convey them?
- Which characters are animals, inanimate, humanoid and how do they talk?
- Conclude your findings about the film.
- What kind of impact could this film have on children and viewers?
- What does this activity tell you about connections between language and culture?
Optional: include an image from the film. How to embed a photo in a discussion board