Week 7, Task 3: Contextual Understanding

Background information: Theorists, historians, authors, thinkers, writers, in fact, people debate or take very different positions on issues or concerns. The reasons for this can vary from having differing beliefs, worldviews, perspectives, knowledge’s, theories, hypothesis, and evidence. 

In your essay aim to position different perspectives to show you understand that there are different debates or viewpoints on the topic and illustrate those by citing authors. You will explicitly or implicitly agree or disagree with the different positions based on how you consider their viewpoints or arguments. Always support a claim you make with authoritative evidence and MLA in-text reference.

View the Monty Python Circus video clip on argument http://www.groundsforargument.org/drupal/claims/argument/LRSintheWild


  • Clearly in this, the intentions are to explicitly illustrate why it is important to support a viewpoint with some solid evidence – in your case from an academic or authoritative sources. Go to the Pro and Con Site http://www.procon.org which situates ‘pro et contra’ debates on controversial issues. It is useful to read some examples to consider different arguments on the same issue. (See HTTP:// link in 237 130 Stream Wk 7) 
  • Note: the different sections of the site: including topics covered, video and reference citations.

In a Blog Post demonstrate contestation or argument by producing a compare and contrast table or use an online mind map generator. Consider one idea and refer to visual texts and authors you intend discussing in your essay.

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 3.41.51 pm.png

1. List a key idea, concern, or issue which might be contestable.

Selfies (or the Self-portrait) are creating a selfish, narcissistic generation.

2. Why is it important?

This is an important topic because the self-portrait has been around for a few hundred years, however, the awareness and availability has changed. Due to your perspectives and worldview, will be how you interpret this concern.

3. What relevant visual text/s will you refer to around the idea? Or what visual texts will you compare and contrast?

Compare Frida Khalo and Kim Kardashian “Selfish” as they both create self-portraits, decades apart, with the goal to capture and flaunt their best features.

4. What authors will you refer to? Consider written texts–by Mirzoeff and others, video presentations, podcasts, and online feeds and discussions located from last week’s I/S. List the different author’s viewpoints, perspectives on the idea or issue? What does each say? (refer to what they say not what you think they say).

& 5. What is their justification and evidence for their take on the idea or issue? (Cite all source material–in-text citations and bibliographic citations: MLA captions; MLA in-text referencing for online sources, lecture presentations, video presentation). Reflect on how you might work contestation or different perspectives into your essay?

Roy Peter Clark’s thoughts on this topic are very negative, that he agrees that they are creating a narcissistic generation by saying “Maybe the connotation of selfie should be selfish: self-absorbed, narcissistic, the centre of our own universe, a hall of mirrors in which each reflection is our own.” (Mirzeoff, Nicholas. 64)

Stephan Marche however, has a view on the issue as it has become more easily accessible to take a self-portrait. A positive viewpoint. It gives control to manipulate the image of identity and to persuade an audience differently “The selfie is the masturbation of the self-image, and I mean that entirely as a compliment. It gives control. It gives release.” (Mirzeoff, Nicholas. 64)

Prince Ea Talks about how we are slowly becoming disconnected from society because of the growth in technology around us. And how he selfie represents this as the selfie is making people more selfish and losing all connection, how we would rather take photos of things rather than take the moment in. He has a negative view on this topic.

Cited work

Clark, Roy Peter. “How To See Yourself”. How To See The World. London; Pelican. 2015. 64. Print

Marche, Stephan. “How To See Yourself”. How To See The World. London; Pelican. 2015. 64. Print

Prince Ea. “Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?“. YouTube, 2014. Web. 27th April 2016.


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