Rutgers University Technology for Granted & Visual Arguments Discussion Question Part 1 Living in the 21st century, it can be easy to take technology for
Rutgers University Technology for Granted & Visual Arguments Discussion Question Part 1
Living in the 21st century, it can be easy to take technology for granted. Even the very blended nature of this course presupposes that students and professors alike will all have regular access to fast, reliable internet; however, the reality is that a quarter of Americans simply do not have broadband internet. While we might initially think that this simply translates to limited Instagram access or slow YouTube videos, our current society runs on and depends upon high-speed internet, and those without it are left to suffer the consequences. For this discussion, read Karl Vick’s “The Digital Divide,” published in Time, in order to understand the impact of the “digital divide” on our nation as well as some programs intended to close the gap; then, answer the following questions: 250 minimum word count
While many people across America cannot afford internet access at all, there is a far larger number who can only afford subpar services such as dial-up and satellite. What are the consequences on households that do not have internet access or have extremely slow internet capabilities? Provide specific examples from the article and your own knowledge to reinforce your claims.
According to the article (and perhaps even your own experiences), what are the limitations of using smartphones and connecting to public Wi-Fi in order for individuals to access high-speed internet? Again, provide concrete details and examples in your response.
What groups and people, as discussed in the text, might stand to gain by perpetuating this digital disparity across the country? (Consider rereading the section beginning with “Politically, the persistence of the digital gap defies logic.”) What are some of the specific ways that these businesses and individuals have prevented nationwide internet access?
Finally, the author closes by remarking that many of the suggestions meant to rectify the “digital divide” demand “a unity of purpose not yet seen from a President who ran as a populist and arrived in Washington surrounded by captains of industry.” Who is Vick referring to in this closing statement? Does he believe that this person is capable of implementing the changes necessary to close the digital gap? Why or why not? In your opinion, does Vick’s more argumentative stance at the end of this article help to strengthen his writing, or does it introduce bias? Explain why you believe this.
We encounter visual arguments every day of our lives. One of the most common (and arguably most strident) of these is the advertisement. Within a static image, a magazine or billboard ad must instantly and memorably present its claims so that the viewer is left craving the product; however, in her documentary series Killing Us Softly, public speaker and activist Jean Kilbourne asserts that these ads do much more than just product placement: they tell us who we should be and what we should look like—especially if we are women. In order to understand some of the nuances of her argument as well as how to analyze visuals more effectively, watch the trailer for the documentary Killing Us Softly 4, and then respond to the questions below. 250 minimum word count
Kilbourne begins her argument with the claim that ads market female beauty; however, she also adds that when women attempt to achieve the images of beauty in advertisements, “failure is inevitable.” Why specifically does she argue that women cannot reach these unrealistic beauty standards? Provide an example from the trailer of a specific way that ads make their brand of beauty unattainable.
The presenter continues by arguing that women are often objectified within advertisements, literally turned into objects like beer bottles, cars, and video games (or even “dismembered” into sexualized body parts). What does Kilbourne argue are the very real consequences of depicting women in this manner? Do you agree with her? Why or why not?
Kilbourne mentions that some actresses and models (specifically Kate Winslet) have spoken out against these unfair practices. What concrete changes would you like to see in the world of advertising in order to counteract some of the problematic messages sent to women? Be specific.
Lastly, remember that at the beginning of the trailer, Kilbourne states, “[Advertisements] sell values. They sell concepts of … success, and perhaps most important, of normalcy.” What other ways do you see advertisements hawking a limited vision of success and normalcy (that don’t necessarily have to apply only to women)? Find an advertisement that you feel “sells” an unfair vision of who people should be, and explain exactly how you feel that the ad does this. (Feel free to provide a link for the advertisement you have chosen or attach it as a jpeg.)