You cannot open a newspaper without being offended. You cannot see a movie without being offended. What gets covered, how it gets covered, what’s in The Washington Post, what vignettes in the Black community are described and what are left undescribed, how these decisions are made . . . It is a daily visitation of slights for African Americans. And it makes for us this preoccupation with race a necessary defense reflex . . . It’s involuntary but necessary to survive. – Randall Robinson on Charlie Rose, 1998
- Black Men, Black Boys and the Psychology of Modern Media is a personality psychology-rooted course that will look at the varied positioning of Black boys and men within media spaces. The course will explore how these framings inform identity assumption and behaviors across cultures. This exploration will be done through deconstructing contexts and human behavior paradigms relative to social norms, stereotype and less widely considered realities. Emphasis will be placed on fundamentals of human behavior, media history, pop culture critique and content analysis. While cinema, television, recorded music and periodicals are considered for much of the course, new media streams will also be examined for behavioral and social influence on Black male identification. Black Boys, Black Men and the Psychology of Modern Media is based across the personality psychology levels of dispositional traits, characteristic adaptation and life story tellings (McAdams, 2004). This general structure is dynamic in a way that allows for shifting popular culture norms and for additional grounding in the media critique of sociologist Pierre Bourdieu (1998). Prerequisite: Psychology 102 or Sociology 102 and with instructor’s approval. Three hours.