“Popcorn and Pop Culture with Professor B:” Analyzing cultural representation and stereotypes in media

by Angel Stacey

Students watch the first episode of the TV show “One Day at a Time” before a discussion on stereotypes and cultural representation in media.

Whitworth boasts an abundance of clubs and activities with which students can engage, one being “Popcorn and Pop Culture with Professor B.” On Oct. 15, media literacy professor Nichole Bogarosh held a discussion on Latinx representation for Hispanic Heritage Month. 

“The goal is simply to offer a place for critical discussion of the popular culture we consume and its impact. In doing so, students become more media literate and are able to recognize patterns in entertainment media that reinforce stereotypes, break down stereotypes, repeat certain ideological messages, reject prominent social ideologies, etc. This simply makes them more informed and engaged citizens,” Bogarosh said.

For this event, Bogarosh gave out popcorn and showed the first episode of the Netflix show “One Day at a Time.”  This TV series highlights Latinx culture and breaks-down stereotypes that the media often portrays upon Latinx men and women. Analyzing this show and discussing its counter-stereotypes allows for students to have critical discussions about what they are consuming from the media.

These discussions, hosted by Bogarosh once a semester, highlight harmful perspectives and stereotypes portrayed in the shows and movies with which students engage. They also allow for  students to identify how much negativity shows and movies can produce.

“I have had many tell me that these events have made them more aware of some of the negative messaging they consume in the media on a regular basis and even more so that my recommendations for shows and films that break down barriers and provide counter messages to prominent stereotypes,” Bogarosh said.