Cartoons and Social Theory

From the Trenchcoat Mafia:

Our Presentation:

Our Blog Series on I Heart Sociology:

Objectives of the Project:

  1. The objective was to apply social theories to the cartoons we chose and study to see if these cartoons were sending out mixed messages or even incorrect messages.
  2. We also wanted to show how one could apply sociological concepts within these cartoons, from episode to episode, or even in general.
  3. Afterward, we wanted to share to people how you can apply theorists to these cartoons and start thinking about them sociologically, instead of taking them for granted and enjoying them for the sake of “fun.”

Impacts:

  1. I think it was successful in that we easily found interesting topics and ideas to study from the cartoons we chose. We were all excited for it and the end product came out pretty well since there seems to be a lot of viewership. The topic definitely attracts people’s attention.
  2. Often times we see racism or mixed messages being portrayed in ads and in movies, but we actually never really go down the level of children’s cartoons which can be more influential than movies or even Disney movies sometimes. Since cartoon shows are usually seasons long, have daily programming and last 3-5 years, it is safe to say that children tv shows can have a huge impact. Doing this project made us realize how influential tv shows can be and how, even in an entirely fictional, animated world, the same stereotypes and social order still remain intact.
  3. It makes us question about things that we “enjoy” and “like” and “have fun with,” making us take a step back and thinking twice about the cartoons and how much influence it has. Cartoons are often considered “dumb” and illegitimate, but actually, cartoons play a very important role and serves to teach us many things about social order that sometimes we many not know or discover until later.
  4. The project challenged us in that we really had to think about what these cartoons were really saying: where they perpetuating social stereotypes and capitalism in the end? Or were they really concerned with teaching children about social order and its concepts, in hopes of creating a better future?
  5. I think that’s the main challenge, because again, cartoons are a way for capitalist people in studios to make more money, but at the same time they are spewing out all these righteous messages of honor and respect and no cheating. It is hard because it makes us think in circles and sometimes you cannot separate the two, but I think overall, we did a pretty good job.

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