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Gender representation in the media

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Introduction

Gender representation in the media Hannah Taylor It is undeniable that the media shapes our conceptions of what it means to be male or female. We encounter many different male and female representations in the course of a day's media consumption. I will now look at the different ways that each gender is represented and the ways in which their messages can be interpreted by an audience and shape identity, with particular significance on the ideal man and woman. Feminism has been recognised for more than 30 years and the changes that have occurred in society have been amazing. Yet media representations of women remain worrying. Does this reflect that the status of women hasn't changed or that the male dominated media does not want to accept it has changed? Representations of women in the media tend to highlight the following: beauty- with narrow conventions, size- again with narrow conventions, sexuality, emotional dealings and relationships. Women are often presented as part of a context and working as a team. They tend to take the role of helper or object, passive rather than active. ...read more.

Middle

From examples of pop culture like these magazines, audiences can borrow bits and pieces of their public persona to use as their own, role models can serve as navigation points for individuals to steer their own personal routes through life having already prior beliefs and attitudes which will determine how effective a media message is. The model that supports this argument is the uses and gratification model. However, the selective filter states that choices of viewing depends on peoples interests, work commitments and so on and so these diverse messages from the magazines will only be exposed to teenage girls meaning older generations may still submit to the traditional ideology. Masculinity is a concept that is made up of more rigid stereotypes than femininity. Representations of men across all media tend to focus on the following: power, sexual attractiveness, physique and independence. Male characters are often represented as isolated and as not needing to rely on others. Increasingly, men are finding it difficult to live up to their media representations as women are to theirs. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion: In contrast with the past, we no longer get singular, straightforward messages about ideal types of male and female although certain groups of features are clearly promoted as more desirable than others. I think the mass media has become a lot more liberal in its presentation of the male and female genders and it considerably challenges the traditional standards. I believe that this is due to a reflection of changing attitudes and also the media broadcasting modern values. The messages are diverse and contradictory but rather than being zapped into peoples brains, ideas about lifestyles and identity that appear in the media are resources which individuals use to think through their sense of self and mode of expression. Although the media is very suggestive I don't think it can fully overpower contrary feelings by the audience. There will always be an engagement among the media and its consumers. It therefore remains to be seen whether the post-traditional young men and women of today will grow up to be narrow minded traditionalists of the future. ...read more.

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