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Negative representation of women in females magazines

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Introduction

Negative representation of women in female magazines Aim My research proposal is aimed at finding the extent to which negative representations of women in women's magazines encourages a cult of femininity in their female audiences. As a reader of such magazines, I do not feel passively accepting of stereotypical representations of women. I read them for entertainment value and escapism. However according to Ferguson, these magazines do create a cult of femininity, leading to women into feeling inadequate for being unable to meet these ideals of femininity. I hope that my own research will uncover the extent to which women's magazines encourage a cult of femininity, or whether readers are more 'active' in their use of this type of media. (Word Count -110) Context and Concepts My first source for my sociological study comes from Ferguson (1983). Who found that young women's magazines prepared them for feminized adult roles and generated a 'cult of femininity.' This cult stressed the importance of getting and keeping a partner, being a good wife, what to wear, how to be a good cook and the importance of being slim and attractive. Practices promoted in articles and advertisements in women's magazines are seen as essential in achieving an idealised body image and hence a woman's validation. ...read more.

Middle

This will produce quantative data making my data highly reliable and creating easily comparable data that will be straightforward to analyse and quick and simple to present in graphs and pie charts. As a Positivist, I believe that quantitative data is the best way to measure the effects magazines have on female readers, as it will enable me to identify trends and patterns concerning factors indicating the concept of the 'cult of femininity', entertainment and escapism. A practical advantage of using questionnaires will be that they are quick to produce and to complete which would be of benefit to women who are pushed for time. I will be using a quota sample of 50 women between 16 to 30 years old. I will find the women for my investigation from magazine publishing houses, as I would be sure they read these particular magazines, and seek permission to contact people on their database. I would disclose the nature of my study to the women I contact in order to prevent deception. I will also enclose a stamped self addressed envelope with the questionnaire to ensure a high response rate. In order to operationalise of the 'cult of femininity', I will ask the women 'Do you follow diet articles in magazines?' or 'Do you fill in magazine questionnaires aimed at improving your sex life/relationships?' ...read more.

Conclusion

Issues around social desirability may affect the validity of my research, since some respondents may not want to admit to being affected by magazines, for fear of being thought of as gullible. Therefore, they may try to be more critical of magazines in their answers, leading to invalid data. Issues around impartiality and objectivity might also be raised in terms of how I phrase questions. Some questions might imply that women's magazines do affect females negatively, so respondents may wish to 'please' me by providing me with answers that appear to agree with my aim. My questionnaires could be considered insensitive in dealing with this thorny social issue, as some women may feel offended by what they may see as blunt inquiries on media influences, leading to unanswered questions. It is important to keep in mind that my study does not fully present a true picture of the effects of magazine reading on women. This is because other factors that may have greater impact on them are not examined in my investigation. For example, factors such as family and friends or by religion, class or sexuality may have a greater influence on the way women feel or are shaped. Some women may suffer from low self-esteem, so they may be more susceptible to persuasive messages in magazines than more confident women. (Word Count 308) (Overall Word count 1212) ?? ?? ?? ?? As Sociology Coursework Zuhra Abukar Y18666 ...read more.

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