Assignment: 04/09/2013

Based upon this weeks’ Contexts work, write a piece amounting to approximately 550 words fulfilling the following brief:

Choose either one major political or historical figure, one socal or political movement or one historical event. Analyse how that event, person or movement has had an impact on popular media of the time or since. You need to use at least three examples of media texts which can come from any platform.

You should complete this work by Wednesday 11th September and complete your work on the blog.

Make sure your work does not cover the same topic as someone else already on the blog.

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2 thoughts on “Assignment: 04/09/2013

  1. Vietnam and its effect in the media…

    The Vietnam War was an almost 20 year struggle between U.S forces and the Vietnamese in an attempt to unify the country of Vietnam under a communist government and the United States. The war was considered unwinnable, and on behalf of the United States citizens lack of public support the war was ended. While this war affected the attitudes of American and even British governments on how to control a war, the image of soldiers since this war has changed dramatically, especially on film and television.

    Soldiers from WWI and WWll have been portrayed as patriotic, fighting for respect and overcoming the odds in the face of adversity. However when the Vietnam War arrived the attitudes had changed (or been portrayed to change) on how soldier behave or fight in war. American film makers began to create an image for their own soldiers almost as a metaphor for the country itself. Gone were the spirited officers in uniform and out came the ‘badass’ ‘take no prisoner’ ‘never say die’ attitude developed on camera. For example, action movies such as Predator, Rambo 2 and Aliens had a wide cast of rugged American stereotypical soldiers reminiscent of the look and feel of American soldiers in the Vietnam war. This stereotype was matched with camouflage attire, sleeveless shirt, bandana’s etc, coupled with the rude language and toned physiques. 80’s soldier films were plastered with this iconography, even more realistic movies such as Full Metal Jacket and Platoon which further gave the impression to audiences everywhere that this was the mindset of American patriotism.

    On top of this, the hatred at that time of the Vietnamese population and the Japanese led to jingoism being present on most American military movies. The enemies in film tended to be Japanese or of Asian descent because they were considered the enemy, this is a direct result of the Americans failure to win the Vietnamese war. A similar instance of this is that in present day the majority of western films will feature middle-eastern’s as ‘terrorists’ which is because of the current battles in Iraq and various Asian countries.

    The war itself was a massive failure considering over 50,000 people were killed among 150,000 injured. Soldiers received negative stereotypes after the war as ‘warmonger’s and ‘murderers’ because of the publicity being received during the war, including videos of Americans burning villages and killing innocent civilians. It took many years to get back on their feet after the psychological torment of the war.

    In conclusion, the war changed the world and most directly America after the severe losses of a losing war. As well as the stereotypes of the soldiers post war including a change in the direction of soldier movies and the psychological effect on the real soldiers.

    Callum Adey

  2. Decent analysis here Callum. The Vietnam War affected so much of US culture and life that its impact is still being felt today. However, although your summary is great here I would like you to consider the representation of the War in film or storytelling. What examples are there of differing readings of the war in popular culture? Can you find three examples of the war and write them below explaining what message they put across?

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