Bren Murphy Interview 2-18-10


Uploaded by gonzagau on 20.10.2010

Transcript:
[ Music ]
>> Hi, good morning.
I am John Caputo, Professor of Communication
and Leadership Studies here at Gonzaga University.
With me on my left is Dr. Heather Crandall,
Chair of the Department, Assistant Professor
of Communication and Leadership Studies.
And today, we have our very special guest Dr. Bren Murphy.
Dr. Bren Murphy is our Visiting Scholar In-Residence for 2010,
coming to Gonzaga to share with us her wealth of information,
knowledge, help [inaudible] a bit more on things
that we don't have in our everyday conversation.
So, it is a welcome to have Dr. Bren Murphy with us.
Dr. Murphy is Professor of Communication
and Women's Studies and Gender Studies at Loyola,
Chicago has been on that [inaudible] nearly twenty--
>> Twenty seven years.
>> Twenty seven years and I have had the good fortune
of knowing Bren in a number of settings associated
with the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.
And over that time we have come to appreciate each other
and our work and what we do and Jesuit universities
to bring a different kind
of communication towards the different ways
of thinking about communication.
And as part of that she is here teaching a course for us
with our graduate students, our M.A. students and she has been
in a number of environments here at the university,
so welcome to you, Bren.
>> A pleasure to be here.
>> Yeah. We are making this tape,
we are having this dialogue, a conversation with you
about things that sort of matter to you, but also some things
that we think that you might say that could help us
with our own students either now or because it is--
the miracle of tape and saving these images and these ideas,
bringing them to our students over a long period of time.
And as you know, we also have many of our students
who were scattered all around the country,
so this will be a way they can have access even
if they couldn't come to your class or your lectures.
So, we will start with that and just sort
of where we like to go.
I think that maybe we would start,
Bren with just a little bit about you and communication,
how you got interested in it
and then how the women's studies part throughout
of that whole thing, but just some--
>> Great.
>> Yeah, good.
>> Oh, I am sorry, that was a question.
>> Yeah, that is a question.
The question is, tell us how you got interested
in the study of communication.
>> Okay.
>> And then how that evolved.
>> Okay, alright.
I became interested in communication in high school
because I was in debate-- a debater and I was quite active
in the forensic league.
I did debate, I did theater, I did oratory,
I did extemporaneous speaking and not to be self-accredit,
but I was really at it.
I want also to the words and decided that I wanted to find
out more about that, so I went to Northwestern University
which is where I had actually got a summer as a debate student
and fell in love with it.
And so I started off
at Northwestern University doing communication studies,
loved it so much that I stayed there, went on
and got a master's degree.
Actually, in interpersonal communication,
decided that I was really bad at qualitative research
and switched over to rhetorical criticism.
So, that is how I developed this communication scholar kind
of a career in terms
of communication research and teaching.
I started off actually primarily interested in being a teacher.
That is what intrigued me the most
and then during my doctoral studies obviously became
interested in research as well.
But back to Texas which is where I am from, taught high school
for a while, really did not like teaching high school in Texas,
came back and actually I just wanted to finish my dissertation
and decided that I wanted to be a university professor.
>> And so, how did that turn
into the women and gender studies.
>> Again, this is sort of a sequitous route.
I was teaching at Loyola University.
I was teaching rhetoric, I was teaching persuasion,
I was teaching public speaking, I was teaching interpersonal
and my chair at that time came up to me and said alright,
I put you Bren for teaching gender
and communication next semester and I said
that I have no background with that.
And he said, well, you are a woman, you talk to men
and I said, well, yes, I do,
so I spent the next several months reading
for the first time about feminism and feminist criticism
and feminist theory and how it intersected with communication
and again become fascinated by it.
So, that was how I got involved in gender communication.
>> And also, like us, you are teaching in a Jesuit university,
so, does that play out at all in the way you teach
or what you teach or how these subjects then are communicated
to your students or-- yeah.
>> Absolutely, absolutely.
I really love teaching in the Jesuit environment.
I incorporate-- I try
to incorporate what I think are essential principles
in a Jesuit education and carries them
in everything that I do.
Very early on at Loyola, I was sent to a conference
and heard a Jesuit talk about what it meant
to be involved in Jesuit education.
And he said that Jesuit education must necessarily
involve the intersection of theory and practice,
that you have to be thoughtful about what you are doing
and intellectually inquisitive.
But you have to test it against real experience
and then you take that experience
and it influences how you build theory and that you do all
of that with the idea that God is your hermeneutic.
That you do it with a sense of something that is transcended,
that the knowledge is supposed to be used for something and one
of things that is supposed to be used for us is
to make the world better.
It sounds sort corny, but that was exactly how I feel
about education and I think you can do
that in other universities obviously, but what I love
in particular about teaching at a catholic Jesuit university is
that you can say that explicitly.
Nobody is surprised when you talk about the intersection
of faith and not what is--
and it doesn't have to be catalysis only.
So, at Loyola University for example,
we have a very strong Muslim population,
we have a very strong Jewish population
and they take their faith seriously and so, you can talk
about that and that means a great deal for me.
>> For you Bren, both in your primary, secondary school,
but in your university years, did you have particular people
who you saw as mentors or you want to emulate
in your teaching or your ideas or--
>> You know, I don't think of myself as having a mentoring.
That is a real regret to me.
I don't know whether it is
because all the teachers were male and they didn't get
as close to the female students.
I don't-- but, I didn't--
I mean, I certainly had wonderful teachers.
I certainly had people who I learned a great deal from--
Lee Griffin, do you remember Lee Griffin?
>> A-ha, yeah, sure.
>> He sort of invented the notion of group rhetoric
and movement rhetoric.
I hold him very dear, but nobody really--
there were intellectual mentors,
but they weren't mentors in terms of a career.
And I have seen the difference that that makes when I talk
to other people who speak about someone
who took a particular interest in their career
and how they developed a career.
So, and maybe what I should say is I think my career
as a scholar just took some--
a different route than normally people take.
I mean, I didn't graduate and immediately start on a book
and that kind of thing.
What I did was immediately start a family and so, I don't know--
that may be part of it too,
but I just didn't know how to deal with that.
>> If I remember from our other conversations,
and your actual first teaching was in a seminary.
>> Yes, it is.
>> Can you share some that?
>> You may have to edit some of this now.
>> Yes, that my first job was teaching at the Chicago Seminary
for Diocese and priests and it was very-- it was wonderful.
First of all, I met my husband there who was studying
to be a priest, but secondly--
>> He changed his mind, I guess.
>> Yes. But it really was wonderful.
It was wonderful to me personally in terms of my faith
because I was one of those people
that had you know raised catholic and then went
to college and just became very disenchanted in what was going
on in a formal church, dropped away, didn't do anything,
you know, went to mass at Easter
and first mass that kind of thing.
And part of that was what I thought was a really
insufficient intellectual basis in terms
of what I was hearing in church homilies.
It just seemed to be pretty shallow and when I was
at the seminary, I talked to very thoughtful, very good,
articulate priests who with whom you could have a decent
conversation and you could ask challenging questions
and they didn't just sort of dismiss you.
And I started to read more deeply into theology
and the history of Catholicism
and it brought me back into the church.
So, I think this is very important to me now and I have
to credit being in the seminary and learning
that you know you don't have to be superficial and closed-minded
to be an active catholic.
And so, that is again, something that is very special
to me teaching at Loyola University.
It's surrounded by theologians and again people
who take their faith seriously
and who asks difficult questions and I like that.
>> You know, yesterday, we were talking with you
with undergraduate students
and you mention the one's career choice is a kind of calling.
Many of our master's degree students think what they want
to do is be a teacher, be a college professor also,
could you talk a little bit about that,
both the calling idea and why you still do that,
why you are still excited by teaching, yeah?
>> Sure. Out at Loyola Chicago and I think this is true
across a number of Jesuit universities anyway,
people have starting to look at the word vocation
and expand it beyond religious calling.
When I was going at vocation you wanted to be a nun or priest
and now that word is increasingly being used to talk
about whatever it is that you are called to do.
So, you may be called to be a veterinarian, you may be called
to be a dentist, you may be called to be a teacher.
And one of the definitions
that they have been using is the intersection of your talents
and the world's needs.
So, again that notion of doing something meaningful
and it doesn't have to be medicine or teaching
or social work or one of the obvious ones.
It can be being called to be an accountant, but that notion
that there really needs to be personal connection
between what you are doing and who you are
because that is the joy of doing it and then you will bring
so much more to what it is that you do.
I always felt called to be a teacher ever since I was little,
so as I said, I tried teaching in high school
and the only reason I didn't
like teaching high school was the whole cast thing
and having permission to go to the bathroom,
that just being too restrictive.
And I also want to learn more and I would say that one
of the things that is wonderful about being a college teacher
in particular is that you can venture on courses.
If you are interested in something, I am interested
in learning more about feminist film criticism.
I get to say, I teach a class in it.
I get to do that kind of research.
And so, this part of what is continually renewing
and I sometimes feel overworked, but I am never bored.
So, that I feel very, very fortunate
in being able to do that.
And every class you meet [inaudible] this,
every class you meet has a slightly different personality,
which is why I am always nervous before I go
into teach the first time because--
>> You haven't met them.
>> I haven't met them-- exactly.
And I want to do well by them.
I mean, I feel a really deep obligation to do well,
to have this be a meaningful experience.
I am using their time.
So, that is part of what keeps me energized and keeps me going
and passionate about what I do.
>> I have a follow-up question, last night you were talking
to a group of people from the community and some academia
and we were talking about the intersection of popular culture
or mass communication with how it matters to our lives.
Can you speak a little bit more about your calling in relation
to those two areas of what you try to bring
to students awareness and what you see in popular culture.
>> Sure. I am not a believer
and I don't think anybody really believes this now,
the whole bullet theory of culture,
meaning that you watch a film or you read a book
and you are just sort of a zombie.
You just can't resist it and it changes you.
I don't believe that is how culture works, but I do believe
that popular culture in particular contributes
to our notions of what we think of as normal and what we think
of as acceptable and what we fear and that because especially
in 20th, 21st century America, we are surrounded by it.
I mean, there are people walking around with ear plugs,
you know listening to stuff all the time.
They walk into a room, they turn on the television.
The Super Bowl, we have Super Bowl ads, showed some poor man
who is forced to go shopping with his wife and to endure
that hardship, you know, he was supposed
to buy a portable television and carry it
around so he could watch sports while she was shopping,
completely ridiculous commercial.
>> Maybe not for men.
[ Laughter ]
>> And so, I think it is very important
to understand what is going on in culture.
I mean, I am not one of those people
that distains popular culture watch way too much reality TV,
but and I missed The Project Runway tonight by the way,
so unless I have a [inaudible].
>> So, you have [inaudible] on that?
>> But I think it is important to be a critical consumer
like you are at any kind of communication.
I think it is important
to understand how mass media is structured.
I think it is important to know what the competing
interests are.
I think it is important to know that you can come back
to the cultural messages and I think it is important to know
that you can create your own.
And so that is part of what I think is the intersection.
It is teaching people I think to be better citizens of the world
for to use another corny term because-especially, I mean,
in a democracy, you have to think.
You have to think critically, you can't just listen
to the messages and take them at face value.
And so, I think it is terribly important as a teacher
to be able to invite students into that conversation.
>> Mentioning that you can create your own messages,
last night's discussion was a bit
about a new documentary that you are making.
In addition in revealing your CV, curriculum vitae,
you actually long ago is I think 1991 have a documentary
in there as well.
So, obviously, you are trying to find ways
of expressing creatively ideas that you have a passion about,
kind of outside the normal academic write an article
for a journal and we will be published,
can you talk a little bit about those documentaries
and why is it a passion for you.
>> Sure. I am not as I said a couple
of times before I haven't taken the traditional scholarship
route for a number of different reasons.
I appreciate high level abstract theory.
I can incorporate it, but I don't think that way.
The reason that I do the kind of research that I do and the way
that I teach is to try to take the big ideas and relate them
to something that everybody else can understand.
I mean, I think of myself sometimes as a translator.
That is what I do when I teach.
>> What did [inaudible] mean?
>> Well, alright let's see and can we relate it to something
that people encounter in their daily life,
why is it deters rhetorical situation such a useful concept.
I think it is a wonderful concept, but I want people
to be able to apply that to their own life as opposed
to again, reading about it just to express,
but so I got interested in documentary film-making
because I wanted to find a medium
that could reach a wide number of people that weren't going
to pick up a scholarly text.
And I wish that there were more outlets
or I could find more outlets to get ideas about communication
and the ideas that I am interested
in to more of the mainstream.
It is back to that notion of public discourse and the kind
of conversations that people have.
And there are some scholars who are very good at doing that.
>> Not very-- but it is a small outlet like you said.
>> Right.
>> Not the norm.
>> Right. So, the impetus for the initial documentary was
when Loyola University Chicago
which is a coeducational school merged which is a kind word
for takeover, the only remaining catholic women's college
in the state of Illinois, Mundelein College.
And when we learned about this, I was at well
at that time we were introduced to some of the teachers
that that would be absorbed into our department.
And there were two very feisty nuns who were going to come
into our department and they asked me what I thought
of this merger and I said something really stupid,
like what, I think it is great, we get more space.
And one of them said are you a feminist
and I said, well, yes I am.
And she said well you can't be much of one
if you don't know the history
of women's education in the United States.
Well, you are right and if I don't know it
and I have been teaching in women's studies by that time
for a long time, if I don't understand the dithery of to--
not just Catholic Women's College, but higher education
with women, I bet a lot of other people don't know
and why don't we make a documentary
that uses the tension over the merger because some
of the students at Mundelein are very, very upset at this.
Why don't we use that, why don't we interview people,
both at Loyola and at Mundelein, and why don't we put it
in to context of the history of women in higher education
in the United States as a way to say, this is important.
You need to know this piece of history.
And even if women's colleges are in decline in terms
of overall number, I think it is important
that we understand what they did and why they formed.
So, I don't shoot, I don't edit, I don't do sound,
but I found people who could do that and I did what I am doing
on my current documentary with.
I do the research, I do the writing, I do the editing--
I mean, I do the construction, the narrative and I make sure
that it happens, so I am in essence the producer.
So, we distributed-- I had a wonderful time doing research
in women's college archives all over the country
and then sent them all copies of the documentary.
So, I am not in it to make money.
I meant it to get the word out and about something
that I am interested in.
>> You know that I had this comment and you agreed
that there-- it is a small kind of outlet for this kind
of material and yet I think it is the challenge.
I mean, one of my teachers Peter Drekkers [assumed spelling] said
that universities as we know them will cease to exist
in the next 30 years, so what did he mean.
We also had kind of amused here at Gonzaga, a colleague
and friend of ours named Bill Nigemeyer [assumed spelling]
who always kept trying to bring the ideas of the university,
but to the community, could be quit talking to each other
and put it on library shelves, could we actually speak
to ordinary people about everyday things
that we could help do it.
And so the challenge was like last night, here is a town
and gown kind of lecture.
Now, we have iTunes University.
We have other avenues that we can seek to find.
Have you looked for other places you have tried
to bring your scholarships to or places you could bring audience
to or bring your stuff to them?
>> The primary way that I have usually done this is
through corporate consulting and I got interested
in corporate consulting for surely mercenary reasons.
I could earn a lot more money more quickly in three days
than I could teaching all of summer school.
So, plus I got to stay in really nice hotels.
So, I started doing that and it actually became very fulfilling.
First I started just doing presentation skills
and decision making skills and that kind of thing,
but the more involved I got,
the more special projects they gave me
and the more I could invent things.
And so I actually spent about eight years doing workshops
for major corporations on glass ceiling issues
because what was happening was they were hiring almost 50
percent women, 50 percent men and then they would get
to the mid-manager level and we go down to about 30 percent
and then they would get to upper management
and it would go down to five.
And they weren't firing these women.
The women were leaving and so they wanted to know why
that was happening because they were losing talent and why
that was happening and what they could do about it
and that was one of the most rewarding things I have done
in terms of bringing my scholarship
in gender communication to an area
where it might actually make a difference
in some people's lives.
So, that's been my most successful account to do it.
I will tell you one of my heroes is Deborah Tannen.
I think she's done a great job using research and then
on communication and on gender and communication and getting it
out into the public sphere.
I mean these are thought for work, they are supported
by research, but they are also accessible.
>> Yeah, they are in Barnes and Nobles or wherever.
>> That is right.
>> She sells bestsellers.
>> Yeah.
>> But you know it is interesting you should bring her
because I brought her before with Heather, particularly
with undergraduate students who now think, oh,
those are funny ideas.
>> Really?
>> That these ideas don't resonate in their lives
and that this notion of male
and female cultural communication differences is a--
>> It is like it is [inaudible].
>> It is like that, you don't have-- exactly.
It is so [inaudible] and so, you are working
with the communication components to glass ceilings.
>> Yeah.
>> Other kind of things in this organization, so then you bring
up town and there is a good example
of sightings of this stuff.
Is she gone, is it outdated, you say no,
so what is it you are seeing.
>> I don't think it is gone.
I think that Tannen actually has been--
Tannen's work on gender communication has been severely
criticized by very serious feminist scholars who argue
that this is not a gender divide
and that she is just using too much anecdotal evidence.
I understand that criticism, but I don't think--
and I think she is-- I think she is tailored it a little bit
in subsequent years to say--
she never argued that it was hard wired.
She never argued that it was inevitable.
She argued that for understandable sociological
reasons women are more--
>> Socialized?
>> Yes, but generally, that women tend and more
of the tendency is the word I want to use,
but more of a tendency to seek communication
as primarily relational.
It doesn't mean that they can't do information exchanges,
but they have a tendency to see communication as motivational
and that make sense because if you still are sort
of marginalized particularly in preparations, I mean and part
of what you are valued for which are ability
to make other people feel better, you are going
to value relational communication
and you are going to become good at it.
But we are talking about overarching, overlapping art.
>> Right.
>> I mean, there are certainly times when I am with my husband
and the roles completely flip
and I am then one saying what is the point, get to the point
and he think let's just talk about this a little bit more.
So, I understand that it is not hardwired, but I still think
that those approaches to communication are valid
and worth talking about and it is fine.
Try this with your student because I have done this
with mine and I still get a good response.
I go say, when I was going to school, a long time ago, I mean,
I went far away from school and this is
when long distance phone calls still cost a lot,
but I will call home maybe once a month and my father would get
on the phone and he would say what are your grades,
do you need money.
I love you.
That was it.
It was in a three minutes tops and then my mother would get
on the phone and we talk about my brothers and we talk
about the crabgrass and we will talk about what she fixed
for dinner the night before.
This is not information I needed to know,
but it was us touching one another, right.
So, you know-- what did you talk about for so long, oh nothing.
How could you talk about nothing for 45 minutes?
Well, you can if you think that there is a value
in communication and every time I tell
that story, they prove me wrong.
Every time I tell that story, the men and the women
in my class go, oh, yeah, that is how it is when I talk
to my mother and my father.
So, I think that Tannen's ideas are still valuable
and she didn't just write about gender.
>> No, no, no, I know.
And how about some of the other thing about this glass ceiling,
particularly you refer to it as communication components
of the glass ceilings.
>> Sure, sure.
>> Could you share what some of those components are?
>> Sure. I believe very strongly that a lot
of the glass ceiling is comprised not an
intentional discrimination.
I don't think men get in a room someplace
and say we will not promote Heather because she is woman.
I don't think that that goes on.
I think part of it is a degree of familiarity with the people
that you are working with and I had all sorts of stories told
to me about male partners in this one organization
who just felt for good reasons sometimes.
I mean, you know they are trying to be respectful
that they couldn't get as close to the women
that they were working for them as the man.
So, they would go to the men offices and say hey,
want to go out for a beer, want to watch a basketball game
or whatever, you want to go with me to the hockey game,
but they would not do that to the women.
First of all some of them,
and this is sometimes very difficult,
but these were the stories.
First of all their wives would not like it, right.
I am thinking, I am thinking, Heather, to the hockey game.
>> You are.
>> My wife says have a good time.
>> I know, I know.
And they also, they didn't want it seem forward,
they didn't know.
Some of them this sounds strange,
but this is an accounting firm.
They didn't know what to talk to the women about.
>> Right, right.
>> So, there was-- so they didn't get to know them better
and when you don't get to know people better there is--
you don't have that cushion in which you can attribute a number
of things that might be sort of outline activities.
So, John, that is just John, you know, he didn't mean
to lose a million dollars to that account.
You got some context in which you can put people's activities.
You don't know people.
It is easier to attribute it something else and so,
they would just you know, what John do this.
So, the men were given better opportunities, again,
not because of conscious discrimination.
I think women felt that they couldn't go and talk
to the partners about things that were bothering them,
the whole family issue was difficult to talk about.
One of my favorite anecdotes actually
that somebody told me was, he said, alright, here is my story.
First time I had a woman manager, she becomes pregnant.
I am very solicitous, I asked her all the time,
how are you doing, you are doing okay, do you need to lie down,
you know, do you need some time off.
And finally, she looks really mad and she says to me,
when did I stop being your best, yeah, account manager
and start being just the pregnant woman here?
Don't talk to me about this.
Let's just let me do my job.
If I need something I will tell you.
He went, okay, got it.
Pregnant woman, don't talk to her about it.
So, the next time somebody, a woman came in
and became pregnant, he didn't mention it at all and she is
like you know eight and a half months and she goes
to his office and she starts crying
and says, I don't understand.
I thought we were friends
and you didn't ask me once about how I am doing.
And he is like, he says to me, just tell me the rules,
you know, I am happy to follow the rules, just tell me what
to say and I say there is no rule.
>> Yeah.
>> You have to get to know the person
to know how they wanted to talk to about.
So, I think it is that-- a lot of that is the--
it has to do with communication and getting to know people.
Another element of it is that-- and this could be changing,
is that women according to research aren't
as good at self promotion.
>> Right.
>> We were taught to be good players.
We are taught to give credit to everybody who is involved
and you don't say I did this, I did this, I did this.
>> Yeah.
>> And men tend to be more socialized,
not always to take credit for what they have done,
but for other people who taught as well.
And this was a story in the corporate world in which I work
and so, if self promotion is expected and you don't do it,
then you are seen as not doing anything,
so that would be another communication problem.
>> I want to go back around a little bit
to you mention the Super Bowl ad.
>> Yes.
>> So, you talk about the you know the Mary Bubble [assumed
spelling], what would you say if to students who wanted
to respond to that, so what would your response be
to something like that, what is wrong with that construction?
>> Okay, well, I am going to deviate a little bit.
>> Yeah.
>> And come back to the actual answer
because there was a response made by somebody
to the most greatest of the Super Bowl ads this year.
There was a Dodge Charger ad in which it starts off with this,
a series of men who are completely drained of affect.
They are just staring into the screen and the voice
over says things like,
yes I will watch your vampire movies with you.
Yes, I will be nice to your mother.
Yes, I will take the dog out for a walk.
Yes, I will put the toilet seat down and then the music slows
and he says, but I demand my right to drive the car
that I want and so it is the Charger
and then it says, man's last stand.
It is like, really?
First of all, was that such a hardship,
all those other things she reads to me and secondly,
you need this big truck in order to compensate
for all your pain and suffering.
This is the man's last stand.
So, I recall that this ad and then actually somebody called me
that a female documentary director made a response to it
and it is the same format.
It is this woman affect was slim and staring
at the screen saying, yes I will laugh at all your jokes even
if they are not funny.
Yes, I will tell you that size doesn't matter.
Yes, I will put up with your smelly loser friends
who pressures on our cat.
I mean, she just keep going on and on and on and then she says,
and yes, I will sit at the Super Bowl
and watch incredibly sexist misogynist ads
and not say a word because you have such a fucking hard life.
Well, I thought that was a good [inaudible].
I mean, it is really, one of the responses is
to create your own medium.
You can do that, obviously, that is how YouTube started.
It wasn't really to put illegal, you know, that I think shot
with your cameras on there.
It is really supposed to be to create certain videos and stuff,
people tend to do that.
You know, what I said to the students when I talk about
and there were about four ads that were like this,
is I just say, you show them the enemies and what did you see.
What did-- what was the problem here that needed to be resolved?
What are they trying to, what are they communicating to you,
obviously buy a truck, but what is the premise of this.
And so actually, I use-- I find Aristotle very valuable, Ethos,
Pathos, Logos, you know and the enthymeme.
What is the argument here and I used print ads in class.
I distribute them and try and say identify the syllogism
and the enthymemes in this ad.
And of course, most advertising is not syllogistic,
it is enthymematic.
So, they describe her for themselves and it seems to me
that these four ads, they were--
it wasn't just that they were misogynistic.
It was that they portrayed marriage as a complete dead end.
It was like, okay, when you get married, you are going to have
to go shopping and you are going to have to pay attention
to her petty little rules.
And I think one of them said something
about have your spine removed.
So, really, that is what marriage is all about.
That just seem sad to me
with that is what they think relationships are,
so that is how I [inaudible].
>> I want to ask you a question
that in a way you have answered right now,
but in way I think maybe not true,
but let's try to figure this out.
You wrote I think in early 90's using some of these magazines,
the magazine about culture in Germany
in magazine advertisements.
>> Right.
>> Particularly women's depiction and so on,
has it really change-- you mentioned the YouTube example
of trying to counteract it, but has magazine ads has a culture
or Germany just continued to flourish in this ad,
the Madison Ave strategy or what is happening or do you think
that as a communication scholar, researcher,
working with students, we have turned the corner
on that process?
>> Solely in terms
of advertising there has been a great deal of change,
but it is shocking how much it stayed the same as well.
So, in terms of both print advertising and television,
you see many more people with color.
In some countries not the Unites States,
you see homosexual relationships depicted
or transsexual relationships depicted.
So, you do see a change, some sort of shift.
On the other hand, you still pick up the magazines today
that is aimed at women and you usually have to go
through sometimes 20, 25 pages of ads for make-up and fashion.
And the ads for make-up
and weight loss I think are particularly disturbing
because advertisers said [inaudible] increasing waist
for women to be dissatisfied with what they look.
I remember when teeth whitening products came on to the market
and I remember you know thinking, really,
we have lived all this time and we didn't know
that our teeth were white enough and now we have
to put these strips on our teeth.
Did this just happen?
Did our teeth get darker or did we just decide
that this was something else
that we needed to pay attention to.
And so, to that extent, I think women are still being told
that their primary value is in their beauty.
And then their size and then how they look.
Look at the number of hair products, you know,
that you have to do, that your hair is wonderful
than the rest you know, it is crazy.
So, to that extent, I mean, that still is going on.
The other thing that I have noticed that hasn't changed is
that I have yet to see a print or a film ad
that has a man using a cleaning product.
I mean, the person waxing the floor,
the person washing the dishes.
We see them cooking now, you know and it is good.
>> Cooking, parenting, a little bit parenting, right.
>> Parenting, yes and pick up Parent's Magazine,
it is mommy's magazine, it is not parenting magazine,
occasional special feature on a dad.
So, to that extent that the assumption
that women's primary value is beauty
and that the primary parenting
and the primary domestic care has
to be a woman's responsibility is still being communicated.
Again, that doesn't mean that we just absorb this.
My husband does all the cooking and he does have to clean
and you know so things have changed.
My father just sat at the kitchen table and waited
for dinner to be-- and that is because that was normal,
so I know that that is shifting in practice,
but it isn't shifting in terms of a lot
of the messages that we send.
>> Any last things that you would like to share
that we haven't asked you about.
Something in the future that you are interested or where you want
to go in your research or in your teaching.
Are you and see trends that you see in our field
that pretty valuable to share with us?
>> I am not sure about trends in the field,
but I will tell you a course that I am just developing
which will illustrate that notion at the intersection
of passion and calling.
One of my other interests is in children's literature.
I am very interested in children's literature even
in my children are now 22 and 24 and particularly
in picture books because I think
that children's literature is more
than any other literature is written self consciously
to convey certain values to children.
And I became very interested a number of years ago in looking
at how skewed the images
on greeting cards are in terms of children.
So, at a time that I did this research,
just about 20 years ago, dogs were on boy's cards
and kitties were on girls cards.
It was like a law of physics and certain words were used for boys
and certain words were used for girls.
Apparently, and all the cards address children directly,
to a wonderful son or to a wonderful boy on his birthday,
to my darling daughter,
to my sweet little girl on her birthday.
After one, boys aren't sweet according
to the greeting card industry.
You have to find another adjective to use,
but the girls have to be sweet valued well
until their 16th or 17th birthday.
So, I am interested in how we convey messages to children
and the greeting card industry is one thing,
but children's books certainly try to convey certain values
in their pictures and in the words
and the stories that they use.
I am also very interested in engaged learning
which is I think a trend throughout a number
of different disciplines and the notion that you get
out into the community, not just to do good,
but because the experience in the community feeds back
into your learning and I have done a number
of service learning classes, but what I decided
to do this time was
to do ethnographic narrative theory course that talk
about the power of storytelling in communities as a way
to build your own identity and your sense of belonging
to this community and a sense of the richness of the community.
And so, I am lucky enough to be
at Loyola Chicago [inaudible] short campus which is
at the edge of one of the most ethnically
and economically diverse areas of the country.
I mean, you can walk down park street or western
and you can hear different languages spoken every other
block and different signs that you don't even--
you understand and food that you have never heard of before.
And so, I have my students working in a great school
that has over 80 nationalities represented in it.
They are working and teaching, reading and storytelling.
They are performing children's literature so that added
that oral interpretation of literature tradition
in our field as a means of understanding the literature.
So, I am not trying to turn them into actors.
I am trying to get them to use performance as a way
of understanding the literature and at the end of the semester,
they will write their own children's books.
And they are working in tandem with a group of student artists
and learning about the power of visual story telling as well.
So, I personally love that the student bounce into class.
I mean, where did you get
to spend all day reading children's books.
This is all books and they love working at the school
and it is a pleasure and an honor to be able to work
in that kind of atmosphere.
So, probably I am going to do more with that
in terms of research as well.
>> Okay, good.
>> Yeah, thank you.
>> You are welcome.
>> Thank you very much for spending the morning with us
and your [inaudible] in Gonzaga has been very wonderful
for everybody's [inaudible].
Thanks professor.
>> Thank you.
>> I will take you in.
>> Okay. I will just give you a face long.
>> Okay.
>> That is your response?
>> Yeah.
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