Essays and Applications
In the following chapters, contributors build upon what both parties already know. Writing in a highly accessible yet compelling style, contributors explain communication theories by applying them to «artifacts» of popular culture. These «artifacts» include Lady Gaga, Pixar films, The Hunger Games, hip hop, Breaking Bad, and zombies, among others. Using this book, students will become familiar with key theories in communication while developing creative and critical thinking. By experiencing familiar popular culture artifacts through the lens of critical and interpretive theories, a new generation of communication professionals and scholars will hone their skills of observation and interpretation – pointing not just toward better communication production, but better social understanding.
Professors will especially enjoy the opportunities for discussion this book provides, both through the essays and the «dialogue boxes» where college students provide responses to authors’ ideas.
10. Seen but Not Heard—Exploring Muted Group Theory in Pixar’s The Incredibles, WALL-E, and Brave
Seen but Not Heard—Exploring Muted Group Theory in Pixar’s The Incredibles, WALL-E, and Brave
Bruce W. Finklea & Sally Bennett Hardig
At some point in your childhood, an adult probably told you that children should be seen and not heard. At that moment in your life, you became part of a muted group. In this example, the dominant group (i.e., adults) placed limitations on the way a subordinate group (i.e., children) was able to communicate. Taking away the children’s voice both literally and figuratively makes them a muted group. Children’s voices are not heard, nor are they given equal standing in our culture.
In this chapter, we will introduce you to the concept of Muted Group Theory (MGT), by providing a brief overview of its development. We will then examine three popular Pixar films—Brave, WALL-E, and The Incredibles—to demonstrate not only how MGT theory works, but also how it is prevalent in modern–day media.
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