Bullying: Genre Analysis of a Website and You-Tube video
Bullying is a very serious problem in our society. This issue has affected many kids and teenagers all around the world. This problem has spread in every school in the United States. Bullying has become a public health problem that is affecting people all around the world that needs everyone’s attention and concern. When teenagers feel bad about themselves, they somehow think that by making someone else feel worse they will feel better, that they low-esteem will rise. In other cases, you have the ones that think they are better than everyone else, and they want everyone to know it by being mean to someone else. All this has lead teenagers who bully during their adolescent years to most likely have a very negative future, full of aggression and hate. Teenagers, who are bullied, are most likely to suffer from depression and low self-confidence. Sometimes, the bullied tired of being the one suffering, will end up harassing someone else; or in extreme cases the bullied may be lead into suicide. Many bullies are influenced by different types of genres that show them how bullying is normal. Two genres that deal with the bullying issue are pacerteensagainstbullying.org, which is a website, and a you-tube video of an ad against bullying called Words Hurt by an association called Concerned Children’s Advertisers. It is trough the method of genre analysis when an individual can see the impact each genre has on the viewer, depending on how the topic is offered.
Purpose and Audience
The whole purpose of the pacerteensagainstbullying.org website is to inform the reader about what bullying is, who the bullies and the bullied are, how to help and prevent this issue, giving different ideas to the public of how to make a difference and act against bullying; being the bully, the bullied or the bystander. The website gives to the viewer many examples describing in a simple but effective way what this problem is, and what it can cause to a person. They give the viewer some real stories, about real people telling their experience through bullying. The website provides the viewer with different ways to take a stand and act against bullying. In contrast, the you-tube ad Words Hurt by Concerned Children’s Advertisers is very short but with a message so strong, that you do not need anything else to understand the message they are giving against bullying. The ad gives the viewers a sense of what oral bullying is, and what it can make to a person, and how terribly it can affect their lives.
The audiences for both genres are mainly teenagers, but it can also include adults. For the pacerteensagainstbullying.org is more intended for adolescents and their families to look at the website and find help regarding bullying. Therefore teenagers can have information that can help them get through the harassment of others, such as how to prevent it by giving ideas of how you can help educate your children and making them know that name calling, or punching someone is not good. Also it gives tips on how to help if you are a bystander that is afraid to intervene, or just to get information that will help reduce little by little the harassment some kids are experiencing. This website contains information that can change someone else’s life.
With the you-tube Words Hurt ad the audience is for everyone. Because everyone is somehow linked to bullying; you are the one harassing another person, the person who is being harassed or the bystander who does not know what to do, either take a stand and help out, or just ignore the situation. The ad shows some girls being mean and saying hurtful things to another girl, which in the ad you can clearly see how hurt she is just by hearing them call her names. This video shows what could happen you, to your children or to someone you care about. The whole purpose of this video is to be viewed by everyone, so everyone can make a positive change about this dilemma. Similar to the website, the audience for this you-tube video would not only have background information about the topic but would also have to know how to use a computer. For both genres, the viewer would need to use technology in order to utilize you-tube and the website. The audience can react to the topic of bullying can vary with age. If the viewer were a bullied teenager their reactions would most likely be different from an adult who is trying to make a change in their children’s lives. On the whole, bullying has become a public health problem that the whole community needs to work with; in a way that bullying will not be an issue anymore.
Rhetorical Issues: Ethos, Pathos, Logos
The information given in pacerteensagainstbullying.org was to inform the public about bullying, to make the viewers aware of what this harassment can lead to, and to give the viewers enough information to help out and prevent bullying. The information they gave in the website is separated in five main sections that provides information on how to identify bullying, a section that gives you tips on what you can do to put an end to bullying, a section where the viewer can make a difference by not looking away, where you can join the movement against bullying, a section where they give you resources where you can find different links regarding the issue, and a testimony of a celebrity that will have an impact in many lives. This type of list of options establishes credibility to the webpage, making the webpage trustworthy to the viewer. The way the webpage gives the idea that it is professional and credible, and that it can contain valuable information for the reader. The url address (pacerteensagainstbullying.org) clearly states that this is a website that deals with bullying, and gives security that it will help the reader take action against bullying.
The website contains various small testimonials of teens that have been harassed and a testimonial of a teen celebrity, Demi Lovato, who was bullied in middle school. This gives the reader security that they are not alone, and that bullying can be stopped. The website also includes different links to different WebPages related to bullying, that will also help out the viewer, in those links you can also find more testimonials that once again proves that this issue is a real problem, but a problem that can be prevented. The website shows ethos with examples and testimonials that bullying can be prevented, and how everyone can do something to make a change, and make everyone’s lives bully-free.
In contrast, the you-tube ad Words Hurts makes a bigger impact on teenagers. The ad shows a group of three girls that appear to be in middle school who are in the hallway of their school when they start name-calling and laughing to a girl who is walking alone. The words they call her appear to be literally slapping, pulling the girl’s hair. This girl suffers with pain that looks physical with every word being called at her, and how each laugh its like a slap to the face. This video is not for entertainment, it is a video made to inform the society about the situation various teenagers are suffering. The video states a reality; therefore the ad brings logos. The video makes the audience have different emotions. It depends on who is watching the video. If it is a teenager who suffers of aggravation, she or he will feel identified with the character. If it is a parent who sees the video, anger will most likely come up. Anger that those situations are in fact a sad reality.
The positive aspect about pacerteensagainstbullying.org being a website, you see that the creators have the liberty to write as much as they want. Giving them the opportunity to give the viewers as much information as the please, giving the chance to provide the reader with the information that they might need. This website’s layout is very well organized that makes the public read all the information in an easy way. Being a website they are able to provide more links to give out infinite information. They can persuade the reader with different angles, covering ethos, logos or pathos because they have the liberty to add as much information as they please,
The you-tube video may be less explicit on information, but it gets to the point, but it does not make the video less valuable. The video is structured to tell a story that is a reality to many teenagers. The idea of doing an ad, to publish in television and the Internet, must have been by someone who knew there would be more audience to see it. The video is very short, seconds short, but it does not take less information as if it had been a ten-minute video.
Style and Language
All of the information given in pacerteensagainstbullying.org website was in a non-formal way, because it is written in a way that everyone can understand. The whole website is designed so a younger crowd can feel identified, but it also lets an older crowd to get information from it. The style of the website is done in a very edgy design, that has black, red and white colors, with a very cool font making it appropriate for teenagers, but having this type of style it does not take away credibility. The website carries a video of Demi Lovato, talking about what happened to her, and how it affected her, and how she has been able to move on in a positive way. This video has credibility, because you see the actual person talking about her story, and it makes the viewer feel at ease.
In the you-tube ad, Concerned Children’s Advertisers tell a story, about a girl whom three other girls are bullying. The girl is walking in a corridor, and the three girls are just standing there in the hallway, making fun of her. This video is very effective, because with this video you get a sense of how all the people who are bullied feel. You see it in the girl’s face as she falls down crying or trying to block away the negative comments the girls tell her. It is structured so the audience will feel the need to so something, and the simple language it gives it is very easy for every kind of audience to understand.
The way both genres together reveal bullying as a negative society issue, and how the people are the ones who can make a change and stop this serious problem our community is going through. On the other hand because pacerteensagainstbullying.org is a website it has the advantage that they can add as much information they want the audience to view. They use more examples that can make the information very valuable. In contrast with the you-tube video you can see less information about bullying, because it only tells the story about oral bullying, they do not include physical or cyber bullying. The video is in disadvantage because even though it only shows how words can hurt, gives you a whole idea of what all other kind of bullying is able to do. The video was a bit limited because it did not show the other kinds of bullying. This is why a genre analysis is very important because it allows the audience to view and understand the notion in a more serious way, and to realize that some information relies on different perspectives. In this case, both of the genres hold a credibility that influences all of the people to make a change and take action against bullying.
Concerned Children’s Advertisers. Words Hurt- Bullying Commercial. (2008). Retrieved February 2, 2010 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1j6YA03hm4k
Pacer Center’s Teens Against Bullying. (2009). Home Page. Retrieved February 2, 2010 from http://www.pacerteensagainstbullying.org/