Social theory in practice via Mean Girls


Was reading in our class textbook about the Birmingham School of “audience” theory, and the cultural studies approach to looking at media. 

I think there is MUCH validity in this approach, about how people construct their identities via media images and texts by taking them on and sometimes re-interpreting them to fit into the who they want to portray themselves as. I know this is a sweeping generalization about the theory and that it overlooks the intricacies that to some, made this approach lacking in comprehensiveness. But this version of media theory is the one that resonates most deeply with the way I am looking at media right now. 

Reminded me of my most favorite scene in Mean Girls, where Lindsay Lohan’s character is looking out over the lunch room cafeteria and grouping the school cliches, and they come to “Asian geeks” and then “cool Asians.” That’s cultural self- (some would say imposed) identification overdone in a nutshell. Loved the generalization and the semi-truth in how her character comes to see the school social order.