A group blog for Introduction to Media Criticism at NYU, Fall 2009.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Try My Googy Googy
As I was reading about stereotypes of blacks in Hall's book, I immediately thought of The Office.
Hall defines stereotypes and being stereotypes as being "reduced to a few essentials, fixed in Nature by a few, simplified characteristics" (249).
In the episode Diversity Day, Michael Scott conducts a meeting about diversity and runs an exercise involving guessing the race on a coworker's forehead. One person looks at the card on another person's forehead and gives that person clues as to who they may be. But of course, it's The Office, and what would be something kind of interesting in a normal workplace is a completely different thing in the Dunder Mifflin workplace.
The employees all use stereotypes to describe the different races on one another's foreheads. They say "simple, vivid, memorable, easily grasped and widely recognized charactersitics" to describe each other's cards.
The best part is probably when Michael Scott imitates an Indian and gets slapped by Kelly, or when Dwight thinks he's a woman, or that Stanley actually has the black card... OK all of it was funny.