Friday, February 10, 2012

Ideological Critique: Today's Weddings

Gill's discussion of the ideological critique, which she defines as, "to refer to a large body of work focused on the connection between cultural representation--meanings--and power relations, affirming the importance of images, values, and discourses in constructing and reproducing the social order" (54), is important to understand in today's society. Gill is saying that by tracing the genesis of an ideology we can learn how our society is constructed and who it is that is in fact doing the constructing (those with power). In speaking to this notion of power, Marx and Engels promoted an ideology that resonates strongly today amongst scholars. Theirs is the idea that "the ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas." So in turn, those with the material power also wield the intellectual power in capitalist systems. This can be put to the test when we consider today's media and the what message those with power are trying to convey.

In the Projansky and Vande Berg piece on Sabrina the Teenage Witch, they argue that while Sabrina does represent "girl power" to an extent, the show does more to "maintain rather than undermine gender, race, and class hierarchies" (36). In focusing on adolescent girls, Projansky and Vande Berg note the appeal of their demographic audience as consumers. Thus, Marx and Engels can be heard again in that those who are looking to make profit will do so on behalf of the adolescent girl, in turn fostering their sense of ideals and the world around them. In a more contemporary vein I look to shows that today's girls are drawn to, in particularly those about weddings. Everywhere you look on the television you see shows such as Bridezillas and Platinum Weddings promoting the idea of lavish weddings being the norm. This sense that weddings need to be these grand events that come close to $100,000 in expenses is absurd. I witnessed the effects of the new age wedding this summer when my cousin was married. Her family is by no means rich yet she had this idea of what a wedding should be set in her head and while it was very nice, it was ridiculous. I'm sure everywhere she looked on the television she was being reminded by those on top, those who know their consumer base, that this is what a wedding should look like. According to The Wedding Report, a market research publication, the average American wedding is $29,000. That is truly unbelievable. My parents talk about their friends weddings in which the rehearsal dinner was at a firehouse and the menu consisted of hot dogs or hamburgers. Now, because those on top in the media wield the power of producing marketable material on television, they are making that material a reality across the country and establishing intellectual ideals that are misguided.

The "normal" wedding procedure according to Bridezillas


No comments:

Post a Comment