Popular Culture Essay. In my essay I will scrutinise feminism in advertising. We live in a world surrounded by commercial advertisements

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In my essay I will scrutinise feminism in advertising. We live in a world surrounded by commercial advertisements. For a very long time advertisers have used tactics such as gender representations for targeting their audiences (customers). It is described by others as the science that capture the human mind long enough to get money out of it. With theories of advertising and their sophistication, my assignment will look at both the advantages and disadvantages of feminism in advertising. Society and social structure are immensely affected by popular culture. Strinati (2004) says, “in modern setting, popular culture is the culture produced which is commercially created by a few for consumption by many”.  

Mass media such as television, films, magazines, bus stop shelters, billboards, internet and newspapers are the common forms of communication used by product manufacturers who portray and interpret society. Kellnar (1995, p 5) says “media is the form of art that teaches us how to be men or women, how to react to society, how to be successful and popular”.  These are some of the advantages for manufacturers concerned about the commercial success of their products hence presenting a culture that will be consumed by many. These few points by Kellnar(1995) are some of what manufacturers or capitalists with one thing in mind success of their product use as advantage forcing them to present a culture they believe will attract and be consumed by the most audience. In doing so, popular culture often results in stereotyping people such as women, the disabled and other minorities because depicting them as stereotypes is easy. With advertising as another form of popular culture the stereotyping becomes very bold to ensure fast selling of huge volumes within a short time. To make achieving these targets, manufacturers/ capitalists will not have time to build up their own characters meaning stereotyping must be used.

Although these manufactures of these manipulated mass cultural images say popular culture mirrors or echoes the society, the opposite is also true. Unaware the behaviour of society is being affected by these manipulated media images. More and more people are becoming more concerned and worried about how society sees itself and sometimes adapt to these impressions left by this art of popular culture especially feminist who are saying images of women  in popular culture are undermining and degrading women. To some extent the feminist concerns are true when you look at what Srinati (2004) says that society does not award the same privileges it offers to men to women. This justifies the argument from feminist regarding the representation of women in mass media.

Having started on feminist theory, I will describe it feather more before moving on to how women are represented in popular culture. Feminism speaks for women in terms of social equality for sexes against patriarchy and sexism (Macionis and Plummer 2012). Feminists trying to eliminate gender inequality have four different main theories of feminism, liberal feminism, socialist feminism, radical feminism and what Sylvia Walby calls the dual systems of feminism and each responds to the oppression of women in different way, outlining different causes and different solutions. However they also have criticisms.

Liberal feminists oppose prejudice and discrimination against that stops women from pursuing their goals (Macionis & Plummer 2012) and Gidens (2009) also says liberal feminism searchers for answers of gender inequality in cultural and social attitudes. It has great support than the other perspectives because it is more tolerant and its views are less threatening to existing values. In Western societies liberal feminists’ plans are to change the political, economic and social systems. Liberal feminists believe that both men and women are not benefiting from gender inequalities (Haralambos and Holborn 2008). Some of its criticisms identified by Valerie Bryson (1999) are basing liberal feminism on male assumptions and norms. The other is emphasizing public life at the expense of private life. Abbort et al. (2005) says liberalism does not explain the exploitation of women, it take no account of structural sources of inequality.  

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Marxist and socialist feminism started from Marx’s conflict theory, blaming the sexual divisions of labour as the barrier preventing women from wealth (Marsh et al 2009) and this Marxist analysis of feminism blames capitalism as the key source of oppression rather than patriarchy, and capitalist as the beneficiaries. Just like radical feminists they have a desire for revolutionary change and want a communist society where production is communally owned.  Although Marxist and socialist feminism had a lot of influence during 1970s and 1980s it has lost influence in recent years and some of its aspects have been adopted by other ...

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