First find an academic article on cultural appropriations, if possible specifically one about racial appropriations. (Read this non academic one to get started.) Then using the article, address one of the following:
1. What do 8 Mile and/or Step Up suggest about emphasis on/representations of black community versus individual goals and striving? What gets left out when non black American characters dominate ? What stays the same? What changes? Consider themes, community focus, identity issues, etc. Do aspects of American white supremacy/stereotypes kick in or not? Do whites get to appropriate styles and still benefit from being white? Or can you argue something different? You could, compare Tyler in Step Up or Ray the white drummer in Drumline to B Rabbit in 2 Mile. How is appropriation dealt with? Follow discussion guidelines and make sure you reference some of the course reading materials.
2. Consider the Flashdance reading. How do you evaluate the idea that (black) break dancing was used to symbolically infuse white male dancers with sexuality and power? Are there differences in terms of “sass” and critiquing male power when comparing Step Up to earlier films featuring dance, such as Beat Street or other dance films? What gets left out when non black American characters dominate ? What stays the same? What changes? As you write you may also want to consider a more contemporary movie that merits comparison. Alternately, select a significant quote from the Flashdance reading and compare two-three films. Remember to follow discussion guidelines and use specific examples, quotes and scenes to prove your point.
Remember these films are NOT reality. They are the materializations/expressions of ideologies or refutation of those beliefs that exist in society, sometimes from Hollywood, sometimes from a black perspective. Your job is to use academic writings and your own interpretations to produce and essay that analyze words, themes, mise en scene as they project beliefs. Note this paper must be uploaded into the dropbox as well as posted here.
Remember the essays should contain citations and are practice for the final course paper. However they are also an opportunity to start less formal conversations and responses among group members. You must complete both aspects, so be sure to respond to at least one of your group members about what they found and/or to the comments of others who respond to your post. This assignment counts toward class participation. Copy and paste or type your discussion/essay in the discussion area and submit your file to the dropbox for a plagiarism check.
What should be included in your essay(for more detail look at the rubric attached to this discussion):
750 Words for initial post for Discussion/Essay
150 or more words for your response to one classmate
Contains a thesis
At least 3 proofs to support the thesis
two from course materials
one from your own academic or primary research
Use of in text citations with page numbers
Works cited with webpage links or full printing press information
Discretionary points for Excellence
This is generally the format of what your essay should look like.
Paragraph 1 — introduction to tell me where you are going. This paragraph includes or starts with a specific distinct thesis that states exactly what you plan to argue. It does not say “I will discuss…” Instead, state your argument and move on to prove it. If I have to wait until the end of the paper to figure out what your point is, you have already failed. Some students put the thesis sentence in italics or bold it. If you want to do this that’s fine. It helps me zero in immediately on what you will argue and may help you keep track of your focus.
Paragraphs 2-5 — justifications. Each subsequent paragraph proves some part of your thesis. They start with and include sub assertions. These sub assertions introduce related bits of evidence and are in effect a mini thesis that makes a refined point about SOME aspect of the thesis. In other words, it pinpoints a specific part of the thesis and explains why the information you present is relevant. After the sub assertion, include your evidence — an example, quote, and citation, for example. You must include examples from the narrative. You can combine justifications in paragraphs as long as they relate to the sub assertion, which on a larger scale connects to the thesis. Start each new paragraph with new sub assertions and justification that highlights a another different part of the thesis. Continue until all parts of your thesis are illustrated and justified. Adjust your thesis if need be.
Final Paragraph — add some deeper insight. You started with a thesis — what additional intellectual points can you add that both reflects the original thesis but seems to carry your initial concept further?