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How do the Representations of Women Differ in Men's Magazines Compared to Women's Magazines

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Introduction

How do the Representations of Women Differ in Men's Magazines Compared to Women's Magazines. Hypothesis; Due to the changing roles of women, the media should reflect this in their representations. My intention is to find if there is a difference in the way women are portrayed in men's magazines and women's magazines. I would expect that men's magazines would be more stereotypical of women (sex objects, domestic, vulnerable) whereas woman's magazines would be more feminist (women power, independence). My first concept is Angela McRobbie's pluralist idea of target audience demands (advertisement attraction due to audience demands). My second concept is Marjorie Ferguson's cult of femininity (instructing women in values and behaviour of being a woman). Context and Concepts; The first research study I will be looking at is Angela McRobbie (1991). McRobbie notes how women's magazines have to attract advertising. The articles on make up are surrounded by advertisements for eyeliner, hair mousse, and lipstick. Fashion and celebrity, prominent in such magazines, are also tied into the system of consumption. It is seen to be unusual to not be interested in hairstyles, cleansing and all the other intimate rituals that are an intrinsic part of being a woman in contemporary consumer culture. ...read more.

Middle

They are produced by men for men; so they reflect what men portray as important (and how they portray women) to please the male audience. Methodology; Before choosing a method for a study you must consider the practical factors. These are access and opportunity, time, and money. The material used in my study is a form of mass media (magazines) and can therefore be easily accessed (as they are available in many stores throughout the country) to ensure the repeatability of the study. Mass media is cheap so this is not a problem and neither is time. This study will be conducted as a thematic analysis. This is. I will conduct my analysis on the three women's magazines and the three men's magazines that have the most readerships. I have chosen to analyse the top three magazines because they are the most popularly read and therefore I can collate my results according to the representations that the greater proportion of magazine readers are exposed to. I will observe the images of the women to find the way in which women are portrayed throughout the magazines including the adverts, articles and interviews. ...read more.

Conclusion

Pictures are polysemic (have multi messages) and are open to individual interpretation. My interpretation of a picture may be different to another individual, as we are all socialised in different ways. The sample of magazines I have chosen may not be big enough to generate reliable or representative results. Each magazine is different, so to only look at the top three magazines aimed at each of the two genders is not representable of all magazines, as the results cannot be generalised to the entire population of magazines. Not all women's magazines are aimed at make up and fashion advice, just the same as not all men's magazines are aimed at perceiving women as sex objects. Some of the magazines may not be useful to finding results of how women are perceived. To get the correct generalisation, I would have to look at many magazines aimed at both genders, and extensively over many issues. As I would use qualitative methods of data collection it could be difficult to repeat so is not very reliable. Also positivists say that qualitative results lack credibility because they're subjective and open to interpretation. I would consider my research proposal to be quite repeatable, as all the resources I would be using are easily accessible and anybody could carry out an analysis on them to verify my results. ...read more.

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