A2 Mass Media

REpresentations: Gender,sexuality,disability.

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  • Created by: Jesika
  • Created on: 05-01-11 14:59

Representations of Gender in Mass Media

Traditonal media representation of feminity :-

  Limited Roles- 

  • Women are generally reprensented in a narrow range of  social roles.
  • Tunstall argues that presentation of women in the media emphasize on women's domestic, sexual and consumers.
  • Feminist argue that women are portryed as unattractive,unfulfilled and unstable.

Symbolic Annihilation-

  • Symbolic annihilation is used to describe the way in which women's achievements are often not reported  or are trivialized by the media.
  • A good example of symbolic annihilation is the media coverage of women's sport. Research shows that what little coverage of women's sport there is tends to sexualize, trivilaize and devalue women's sporting accomplishments.      
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Representations of Gender in Mass Media

Ideological Ideals-

  • A cult of feminity?- Ferguson notes that magazines are organized around a cult of feminity, which promotes a traditional ideal where excellence is achieved through caring for others, the family, marriage and appreance.She argues that alothough modern female magazines are gradually moving away from these stereotypes, they still tend to focus narrowly on him, home and looking good for him.
  • The sexual objectifiction of women-Sociologists such as Wolf suggests that the media used images of women that present a 'beauty ideal' which serves to what Mulvey calls the male gaze.The media also presents women as mannequins: tall, thin and often size zero with perfect hair, teeth and perfect skin. Some sociologists argue that such presentation of women causes anxiety in teenagers and also causes eating disorders as teenagers want to appear as perfect as the women senn on the media.


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