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"To what extent do representations in the printed media influence gender roles?"

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Introduction

"To what extent do representations in the printed media influence gender roles?" I will be looking at women's 'to-be-looked-at-ness', and examining the representations of women as objects of the male gaze and male desires. In simple terms, a stereotype is the application of one (usually negative) characteristic to a whole group. The stereotype is an easy concept to understand, but there are some points you need to consider when looking at media representations with regard to stereotyping. For a stereotype to 'work' it needs to be recognisable to the audience and when so recognised, then judgements are made about the subject. If the stereotype is negative, then the judgements will also tend to be the same. The predictable thing about stereotypes is that they are predictable! They create a sense of order and also provide a sense of identity (even if it is a negative one!) Stereotypical judgements and stereotypical media representations can (and often do) lead to different treatments of groups by other groups, (sadly, often quite discriminatory). If we define 'male' and 'female' all we are doing is a biological classification, but if we think about the terms 'masculine' and 'feminine' we have to think about certain roles and lifestyles. Put simply, the words have very specific ideological assumptions of what is 'natural behaviour' for each sex. ...read more.

Middle

This portrays them as the good little housewife that stays at home and runs the house and childcare. Also women are used to advertise diet regimes, which suggest that all women must be slim, and watch what they eat in order to be accepted and liked. This puts a great strain on women to look good, but not for themselves - for the males. My view is that it is magazines that make young women feel pressured into looking 'perfect', usually for men. Anorexia and eating disorders are said to be the result of these adverts in the media but would the role be reversed if it were males that advertised the diet products? Would men even agree to be pictured to advertise such things? Would men sell the products? It's my feeling that they would not sell and feel that men would not like to hinder their macho masculine image. With women being used to advertise cleaning products, diet pills, does this say that we must fulfil this role in society or does it solely help sell the product, as they look good to the eye? Open sexism is still a reality as the procedures against sexist and discriminatory advertising are very slow and the fines are not dissuasive. ...read more.

Conclusion

Caressing & kissing the male body then smiling falsely. I think advertisers are now beginning to pick up on changes of gender roles in society. The 'traditional' roles of men and women are disappearing. Women are becoming more powerful. They are getting the well-paid jobs, earning a lot of money, and attaining positions of power. Due to this, the numbers of men staying at home while the women are going out to work is increasing. The traditional roles are being reversed. Advertisers are using role reversal more and more in adverts to highlight these changes. These reversals are, however, often portrayed in a sarcastic or less serious than in other adverts. Without these gender roles maybe society would have had an adverse effect on the media and what we portray as acceptable would in fact be outrageous. Why is the media so important? -One may ask. More often than not, it's the way we get most of our information. Information we tend to think of as the "truth. Overall when looking at different types of media I got the general impression that women are portrayed in a worthless provocative manor. This was repeated in the same way across the whole range and always looked as if they were being exploited. Society have dictated to the media what they want to buy and see, all that's left for the media to do is provide this product. ...read more.

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