Media and Its Effects on Gender Stereotypes Essay

Media and Its Effects on Gender Stereotypes Essay

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In addressing the question it is first necessary to understand what is
meant by 'mass media'. The Collins English Dictionary defines mass
media as "the means of communication that reach large numbers of
people in a short time, such as television, newspapers, magazines, and
radio" (Collins English Dictionary 5th edition, 2000, pp 957). This
therefore suggests that any medium that conveys information to the
people is categorised as mass media. By looking at two forms of media,
this essay will examine how much the media can be charged with causing
and further exaggerating gender-based stereotypes in society. The
forms of the media in which this essay will examine will be
advertising, in particular the way masculinity is portrayed within
television and magazines. The second form of media to be examined will
be soap operas and will examine representation and audience reception
within the soap genre.

When starting an advertising campaign the writer in general follows
the premise that sex sells and automatically asserts themselves into a
manipulative model, a Marxist perspective which views of society as
being divided by class and being ruled by those in control (i.e.
bourgeois) who have the financial ability behind them. Because these
people have become so financially powerful they are able to force
their beliefs and opinion on others therefore legitimising their
control. With this control of what is portrayed in their media takes
away free thought of the viewer (i.e. proletariat). the images or
texts that are portrayed to a passive audience, is that of a sexual or
gender biased content.

In her work Forever Feminine: Women's ...

... middle of paper ...

Although it is still unclear as to whether the media perpetuates
gender stereotyping it is clear however that it is responsible for
creating its own sets of stereotypes.


Giddens, A. Sociology, 4th Edition, 2001, Polity Press, UK

Haralambos, M. Holborn, M. 4th Edition, 1995, Collins Educational,

Kirkby, M. Kidd,W et al, 1st Edition, 1997, Heinemann Educational
Publishers, Oxford.

Collins English Dictionary 5th Edition, 2000, HarperCollins
Publishers, Glasgow.

Hall, S. Representation Cultural Representation and Signifying
Practices, 1st Edition, 1997, The Open University & Sage Publications,

Trowler, P. Investigating Mass Media, 2nd Edition, 1996, HarperCollins
Publishers, London.

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