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‘The mass media promotes gender stereotypes.’

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Angharad Williams The Research Proposal Hypothesis - 'The mass media promotes gender stereotypes.' I have chosen to research whether the statement, 'The mass media promotes gender stereotypes' has any basis in reality. I believe this research has strong sociological implications because the way in which society perceives groups ultimately affects how these groups are treated and this issue could reach further than gender it could also affect topics such as poverty. I am interested in this area of research because there has been coverage of media effects in the news recently and I have become aware that the media is a part of everyday life and people can find themselves unaware of its effects and control upon them. (105) Contexts and concepts - The first relevant source is a BBC news article entitled 'Platinum blondes are labelled as dumb'; research chronicled in the article concluded that particularly men but also women still believed in the dumb blonde stereotype.

Middle

(334) Research Method - To investigate my hypothesis I will use a non - directive unstructured interview technique. This means the information I collect will be relevant to my research and up to date. By employing the non - directive unstructured interview technique, I seek to establish a rapport with the interviewee to make them comfortable, once they seem no longer worried about being judged the questions relating to the research will slowly begin. An example of a typical question posed is- 'Do you think newspapers, televisions and such play a big role in your life?' This type of open question and interview structure suits my hypothesis and concepts as it allows the individual to take the lead and tries to restrict bias, while gathering reality based in depth feelings and meaning. This method is qualitative and is preferred by phenomenologists / interpretivists who strive for a more natural approach to sociology by reporting information gained rather than interpreting it consequently during this research the findings will be reported rather than operationalised and therefore interpreted this approach will embodied an interpretivists method and compliment the nature of my hypothesis.

Conclusion

Moreover the information provided could not be presented in the same way a positivist method could, this means the research could be unreliable and is definitely not of a traditional scientific basis. The information obtained through the interviews will be primary data therefore it is time consuming and reliant on participation of the subjects as a result it could be lacking in practicality. Further more there is an ethical issue with the interviews in that they are 'not natural social situations' and there is a possibility subjects could feel uncomfortable with the topic raised but because it is not a natural situation feel obliged to continue. This associates with the 'researcher effect' problem. This states that the attributes of the researcher for example personality gender or age all affect the type of response given by the subject. A final problem factor is that of time, the number of people to be interviewed will inevitably take a large amount of time this affects consistency of response because over time society changes affecting response. For example, responses to an interview before September 11th would differ significantly from responses after this date. (241) Total word count = 1019

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