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Homework answers / question archive / Lesson 14 Discussion: Thinking about Disney This lesson is about how we form an identity

Lesson 14 Discussion: Thinking about Disney This lesson is about how we form an identity


Lesson 14 Discussion: Thinking about Disney

This lesson is about how we form an identity. As we develop, our environment - in it's various forms: family, friends, school, media, etc - will play a strong role in this formation. In this week's forum, we will discuss the relationship between the media and the development of identity stereotypes. In the articles below, psychologists express concern about the stereotypes that are imprinted upon children, both boys and girls, by Disney movies. I've also included a current Top 20 Disney Animated Movies list (according to Disney).


First review the list of Top 20 Disney movies , then read "How growing up Disney shapes gender roles" by Leah Pickett and "Masculinity and Disney's Gender Problem" by Cliff Leek


Keep in mind what you have learned about the cognitive skills and limitations of the children who generally watch these movies. Are these psychologists overreacting, or do they have a point?

In your first post address the following issues:

  1. Do you think you were affected by these movies and their stories? If so, how?
  2. Can you think of other stereotypes that are commonly used in these types of movies, or any of these top 20 movies specifically?
  3. Are there other examples of movies for children you would add to the list presented below in terms of specifically harmful (or beneficial) stereotypes?




please respond to this post and add your thoughts about their conclusions.

  1. I think we can be affected by movies. I think the roles in movies in all categories are all pretty much the same and women/men all have the same characteristics. When I seen the list of top 20 Disney movies and read the articles I was thinking to myself, "that's how relationships are in real life", it's always been this way without the movies. As far back as history goes women have submitted to men and men have always been the prize and the one the woman caters too. Of course there have been women's rights movement and feminist waves that have moved women to be more equal to men, but historically women have submitted to men. With that being said, I don't think we can fully blame movies because they were basing the stories off of what what actually happening at that time. I also don't think the movies are bad for children to watch. I think it's great they show women like Belle, Ariel, Elsa, and many more being strong, independent, rebellious and fighting for what they believe in or want but falling in love and making sacrifices, because sometimes that does have to happen. I also think think that the princess are more glamorized and given more attention, it's all about Disney princesses, not Disney princes. The women are in the spotlight, the main character, and the star, and I don't really agree with the article, "masculinity and Disney's Gender Problem" stating that the prince's steal the show and become as important as the princesses, because I honestly couldn't name 3 Disney princes if I tried. 
  2. When I think about Disney princesses, I do think most of them are adventurous, rebellious and restless. They are almost always on some quest to find something or save someone or something, I don't think that is a bad trait to have or to display for young girls. 
  3. I really liked the movie "Moana", I thought it was great because it wasn't a love story, it was a girl on a quest to save her village. She had assistance from Maui, and that could probably be picked apart by a psychiatrist, but there was a scene where Maui wasn't going to help her and she still kept going. "Alice in Wonderland" has always been one of my favorites when I was younger, it also doesn't have much to do with love, but my interpretation of it is a girl/young woman trying to figure out the world and facing many obstacles/challenges and overcoming them. "Mulan" switched places with her father to fight for her family and I think that was a great message as well. I also like some of the newer movies too because they are including different ethnicities of princesses which I think is important for young girls to see themselves represented as a princess. 


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