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Examine the Role of Gender in the Media

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Examine the Role of Gender in the Media Television, magazines and newspapers are very powerful mediums, and it is important to realise the influence these have on people's lives. The media combine language and presentational skills, with a direct content and purpose to produce very persuasive material. The stereotypes of gender will have originated from various sources of the media and as is evident this has had a large impact in the changing roles of society. The definition of gender is 'the state of being male or female', typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones, as opposed to sex. The media are recognised for the presuppositions they imply when writing for particular audiences of the same gender. It is particularly evident that during several decades the role of women has changed significantly, and I am going to examine how the media has responded to this by focusing on two articles about the social position of women, one written in 1950, and the other in 2002. ...read more.


It would be hard for women to ignore the article as the title 'Wife?' is a direct appeal to the reader. The article is almost saying that if you do all these things 'do you renew your nail polish as soon as it chips?' that you will improve socially and the media has stereotyped this as an aspiration of women and are using it as a device to encourage readers. The article written in 2002 is aimed at teenage girls. The article is devised so that you can 'find out where you are on the social ladder...' and this article again stereotypes gender, but it is very different from the 1950's article as it is aimed at a modern society of independent women and so the media will have had to adapt its views to accommodate this. The headline of the article is 'Are You Queen of the Scene?' indicating that women can be in charge as opposed to the article 'Wife?' where women have been addressed in what today would consider a derogatory way as women are no longer wanting to be recognised below men, and the media has changed its emphasise to appeal to today's view of the role of sexes and gender. ...read more.


point they are trying to communicate with the reader such as 'Don't act without thinking and remember, it's much easier to slide down the social ladder than it is to climb it,' implying that teenager girls are worried about their social position and popularity, and the media will be able to persuade their audience into a particular way of thinking by saying do this or, this is the consequence. This article is presented in a different style to other articles for girls in that the main colour scheme is blue, a colour the media associate with boys. It seems that the article goes against gender stereotypes and this can be interpreted in different manners; is it that the role of gender is not so influential, boys and girls are on an equilibrium in modern society? Or does it say that girls are perhaps becoming rebellious against modern society's views about gender? This article is in a magazine for commercial publication, so it is out to catch the interest of an audience and so will set out for maximun visual effect and maximun linguistic effect through a highly emotional -and intriguing heading. ...read more.

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