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Gender, Class, Race in Media (SS 315): Home


Instructor: Dr. Laurie Gordy
Office Hours:TR 11-12, or by appointment
Office Location: HH205
Telephone Number: 617-730-7258
Class Day/Time: TR 9:35-11
Class Location: HH101
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: any SS 200 level course or CO 114 

Course Description

This course will examine the representations of gender, class, and race in various forms of mass media including television, film, advertising, video games, music, and the internet. The social meanings given to gender, class, and race influence identities and opportunities for groups in society. In this course, we will critically evaluate the ways in which the mass media creates, reinforces, and /or challenges the social constructs of gender, class, and race in society.

Course Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to

1. demonstrate knowledge of intersectional analysis and its role in critical cultural studies. (Knowledge)

2. apply multiple theories to critically assess the way various forms of media reflect cultural constructions of gender, class, race, and sexuality. (Knowledge, Critical Thinking and Information Literacy)

3. evaluate the relationship between power dynamics around gender, class, and race and the production and distribution of media. (Critical Thinking, Social Responsibility, Ethical Behavior)

4. demonstrate knowledge of ethnographic research and its usage in evaluating audience responses in terms of gender, class, and race. (Knowledge, Critical Thinking)

5. evaluate how the media can be a force for social change in terms of gender, class, and race inequality. (Critical Thinking, Social Responsibility)

6. conduct scholarly research on gender, class, and race on a contemporary media form. (Communication, Critical Thinking and Information Literacy)

Oscar's First Black Winner Accepted Her Honor in a Segregated 'No Blacks' Hotel in L.A.

The 12th Academy Awards were held at the famed Cocoanut Grove nightclub in The Ambassador Hotel. McDaniel arrived in a rhinestone-studded turquoise gown with white gardenias in her hair. (Seventy years later in 2010, a blue-gown– and white-gardenia–clad Mo'Nique, one of 11 black actors to win Academy Awards since, was the only one to pay homage to McDaniel while accepting her best supporting actress Oscar for Lee Daniels' Precious.) McDaniel then was escorted, not to the Gone With the Wind table — where Selznick sat with de Havilland and his two Oscar-nominated leads, Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable — but to a small table set against a far wall, where she took a seat with her escort, F.P. Yober, and her white agent, William Meiklejohn. With the hotel's strict no-blacks policy, Selznick had to call in a special favor just to have McDaniel allowed into the building (it was officially integrated by 1959, when the Unruh Civil Rights Act outlawed racial discrimination in California). --  Seth Abramovitch


​Dines, G. & Humez, J.M. (Editors). 2015. Gender, Race, and Class in Media: A Critical Reader 4th edition.

Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. 

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Anthony Viola
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