The Mass Media And Gender Roles In The Mass Media

1781 Words8 Pages
Being one of the primary agents of socialization in the United States, the mass media constantly teaches social expectations through forms of shows and advertisements for people to oblige by. One of those expectations reflects the appropriate behaviors associated with gender roles through television. Given the fact that over 90% of Americans own at least one television because it is an important feature in people’s lifestyle, individuals are constantly bombarded with the manipulation by the media on how to supposedly behave like ideal men and women so they can fit normally into society. Because of the reinforcement of gender role by the mass media through television, gender roles are reinforced based on the physical, behavioral, and personality…show more content…
Her 2

men and women differently from other comedy shows. I Love Lucy, for example, portrayed Lucy, the protagonist of the show, as a housewife with feminine traits such as being docile,

assent, and enthusiastic around her husband. However, what made Lucy different from other comedy housewives is she is portrayed as a housewife “who did not work outside the home”, but her role “featured elements of rebellion toward the domestic sphere” (Press 2009, 141). “… the few times in which… Lucy actually ‘attempt’ to perform household chores” and “house work itself,” she wanted out of the house “to escape the domestic sphere” and “into a much more exciting world outside. The home… was no place for a woman” (Oren 2003, 83). The theme of rebellion is clearly shown through some comedy series, as the reinforcement of gender roles were not based on the physical, behavioral, and personality traits associated with femininity. On the other hand, comedy shows such as Father Knows Best and Leave it to Beaver also portrayed men differently from other comedy men. Ward Cleaver and Jim Anderson, protagonists of the show, were portrayed as “domesticated dads whose masculine power comes from their ability to function knowledgeably within the home sphere” (Oren 2003, 87). This portrayal goes against one of society’s socially constructed norms because those were not the appropriate traits associated with masculinity. As a result, critics deemed the roles as “‘boob,’ ‘blustering chowderhead’ or a
…show more content…
Situation comedy Kate and Allie portrayed two women as single-parent households living together to make a living without their husbands. Having won custody over their children, it was clear that the abilities within them, regarding their job outside and inside of the home, should not be underestimated because of how they are able to make a living, playing the role of both men and women. An example of this type of portrayal of women is the situation comedy Mr. Mom. This show definitely contradicted the traditional portrayal of men and women, as the husband was the homemaker who cared for the house and the children while the wife was the breadwinner who earns the money from being an advertising executive (Vavrus 2002, 354-355). Because of “the mass entry of women into the workplace and the growing social acceptance of women in previously male-dominated and higher-paid professions” (Tsai 39, Vavrus 2002), the percentage of women portrayed as homemakers or housewives decreased to 28.3% while percentage of women working in the workforce increased to 71.1% (Allan 1996). In addition, women also represented 6 out of 7 occupation categories during the 1980s, and because of that, the representation of women working as homemakers or housewives dropped 29.6 to 5.5%, a 24.1% decrease of their traditional role inside the home (Allan 1996). Therefore, “women

More about The Mass Media And Gender Roles In The Mass Media

Open Document