Media- topic 4

Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

What is the media gaze?

The media gaze is the idea that it is largely white middle class men that are in control of the media. This therefore means that the media only relflects the interests of a limited number of people.

Give an example of the media gaze?

On two magazine covers lana del Ray was shown as naked and vulnerable, but tinnie temper was shown as powerful and in a suit.

What is symobblic annihilation?

It is the idea that certain groups within society are underrepresented within the media, and when these groups are included in the media they are often stereotyped. 

Give an example of symbolic annihilation?

19% of people have a diisabiltiy but only 5% of people in the media have a disability.

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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

How are children represented in the media?

Children are generally represented in a positive way, and often figure as consumers of toys in advertising, or as comedy sources in sitcoms.

What are the 7 stereotypes of children?

  • Kids as victims- children protrayed as good children led astray by bad influences, or as victims of crime committed against others. 
  • Cute kids- providing the feel good factor in advertising and other stories.
  • Little devils- Stories of evil children and young hooligans, often in comedies and dramas.
  • Kids are brilliant- exceptional children who excel in some way, like getting into oxford or cambridge.
  • Kids as accessories- where children are used to ehance their parents image- celebs.
  • Kids these days- stories which show adults nostalgia about the past, with young people knowing so much more than parents at their age.
  • Little angels- children who can do no wrong- children who endure terrible illnesses or disability with a smile.
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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

How are the youth presented in the media?

Youth are often the subject of negative media stereotyping. They are protrayed as rebellious and a selfish problem group in society- as troublemakers, layabouts and vandals, fuelled by drugs and alcohol, and depicted in the context of crime, gang, knife and gun culture, anti-social behaviour and binge drinking, this image is particulary associated with young working class males. 

How are youth represented negatively in the media?

  • A study found that 57% of articles about young people were negative, and 40% of articles focused on crime, vandalism and anti-social behaviour. 
  • A survey in 2009 found teenage boys frequently appeared in the media in stories about crime. They were commonly described using terms like yobs, thugs, feral and hoodie.
  • Broadcasters negatively protray young people and more than 40% of young ppeople were disatisfied by the way they were protrayed on TV.
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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

What are these negative representations of youth caused by?

The representations are driven by media news values, as exiting stories and sensational headlines which esaggerate the occasional devaint behaviour of a few young people out of proportion to its real significance in society to help sell newspapers and attract TV audiences. 

Why does Cohen argue youths are represented negatively in the media?

Cohen argues that young peole are relatively powerless and an easily indentifiable group to blame for all of societies ills. Young people have been use a scapegoats in the media to create a sense of unity in society. 

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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

How are older people represented in the media and why?

Older people are often largely invisible in the media or presented in a negative way. Elderly people sufffer from negative stereotyping in the media mrore than any other social group apart from youth. As old age is represented as a undesirable state- due to stereotypes about forgetfulness, being poor and incapable of work.

What did Cuddy and Fiske argue about older peoples reresentation in the media?

They showed that in the US TV protrayed just 1.5% of characters as elderly, with most of them appearing in minor roles. Older people were also more likrly to appear in TV and films as figures of fun, based on impaired mental, physical or sexual capacities

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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

What are the different stereotyes between older women and older men?

  • Older men are ofteen presented in a positive light, for example as sexual partners of younger women in hollywood movies or as wise old men.  
  • In contrast, there are few positive images of older women, who are rendered invisible- because in media imagery wmen are expected to be forever young and youthgul and there are not maany positive roles for them as they grow older. 

What did White et al find about older TV viewers?

They found that older viewers thought they tended to be stereotyped on TV, and that there was a lack of middle aged women on TV. Viewers accused the media of being insulting and out of step with the ageing society. 

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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

What is the represnetation of social class in the media?

The majority of the media is created by upper class individuals who have limited contact with members of the working or middle class. 

How are the working class represented in the media?

They are generally under-represented in themedia, but when they are represented they are typically stereotyped in negative ways, with their failings seen as  arising from their lack of conformity to middle class values, norms and lifestyles. 

How is the content of newspapers aimed at the working class different?

The content suggests that the working class has little interest in public affairs, and instead are predominantly intrested in over-dramatised, exaggerated, or made up human interest stories.

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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

How are the working class represented as dumb and stupid?

Butsch in a study of US TV programmes agues that TV created a persistent image of the working class as buffoons or figures of fun- well intentioned but flawed individuals, who are immature, irresponsible, inarticulate, incompetent, lacking in common sense, and who are only ineptly coping with life. The Royle family is an example of this, with a family of couch potatoes watching TV all the time and holding totally absurd non conversations.

How are the working class represented as a source of trouble and conflict?

Working class people are often presented in the context of toruble, with the working class represented as undesireable welfare scroungers, as lone parents and as inadequates who are unable to cope with their uncontrolable delinquent children.

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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

How are the working class represented as living in idealized romanticized working class communities?

Stereotypes protrayed in shows like Eastenders, where life rotates around pubs, shops and close supportive family and friend networks. This traditional working class imagery is also linked with macho behaviour, masculinity and physically hard work. The values in these working class communities are often praised, but have little relation to reality. However, jones argues that these  working-class communities are romantisized and are filtered through the middle class media gaze.

How are the working class represented as white trash, scum and chavs?

The media stereotype of an underclass in which working class and the poor are merged. They are referred to as white trash, scum but mainly chavs-  which is the most demonising and hostile steereotype of the working class. It represnts the workking class as worthless, disgusting, frighteening and threatening, with bad clothes, bad food and bad behaviour. Chav has now become a common form of middle class abuse of the poor white working class.

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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

How are the middle class represented in the media?

They are over-reppresented in media content- there is more expposure of middle class lifestyles than is justified by their proportion in the population as a whole. The middle class is presented in a positive light-  as mature, sensible, educated, sucessful and as coping with problems. Middle class families are represented as well functioing units, and the consumption and taste making up the middle class lifetyle iis presented in the media as a norm everyone should aspire to. 

How does this positivie representation cause the media gaze?

These positive representations combined with negative protrayals of  the working class, cause the media gaze of a middle cass dominated media  establlishment. These representations confirm and promote the dominant ideolofy of the normaility of middle class life, and helps legtimize exisiting class structure and inequalities. 

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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

How are the upper class represented in the media?

The upper class is generally presented as being well bred, cultured and superior, with posh accents, country estates and a taste for shooting and hunting. Sometimes it is protrayed as ecentric or odd, but fundamentally decent and respectable. It is often protrayed in a romantisized way in the context of period dramas such as downtown Abbey. The lifestyles of the upper class, particulary in thee form of luxury homes, cars, exotic holiday locations and expensive fashion acessories, provide media content for mass audiences in tabloid newspapers. 

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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

How are ethnic minority individuals represented in the media?

  • They are under-represented in areas of senior management in media companies. 
  • They are also under-represented in TV and film roles with 1 in 7 roles filled by a person from an ethnic minority group.
  • They are marginalized and featured mainly in programmes on minority group issues.
  • In advertising black people were less likely than whites to be shown in a professional role. 
  • There is a narrow range of representations of black women in the media.
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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

How are ethnic minority indviduals seen as deviants and law breakers in the media?

  • Seen as devaints and law breakers-  they are frequently represented in the context of drug dealing, terrorism, welfare fraud, mugging, gun, gang and knife culture.
  • Hargrave found that black people were more than twice as likely as white people to be presented as a crinimal on TV. 
  • Reach reported black boys and young black men are often protrayed as a dangerous and threatening group, wiith their lives focused around criminality, such as drugs, guns and gangs. 
  • Black people commiting crime is far more likely to be reported than black people as victims of crime. 
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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

How are ethnic minority indiividuals represented as posing a threat to society in the media?

  • Immigartion for example is presented as a threat to British culture- it is presented as a threat to the British way of life and the jobs of white British workers. 
  • The media reports of rare events like forced marriages and honour killings give a misleading impression of all minority ethnic groups.  

How are ethnic minority groups represented as causing social problems, conflict and trouble in society?

  • Asylum seekers for example are often represented as bogus, as really economic migrants seeking to work illegally, rather than as people escaping from persecution. The media generate moral panics over such issues. For example the moral panic about a story entitled swan bake, the story stated that that asylum seekers were killing and eating swans from ponds and lakes in London.
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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

How are ethnic minorities seen as having limited talents and skills?

  • They are protrayed as having as few skills and talents. They are often shown in low  paid work, in jobs such as cleaning, or seen as educational failuures, or as people who do well in sport and music.

How are ethnic minorities seen as having problems intentionally?

Audience studies found that the developing world was percieved very negatively with respondents describing the developing world with words like poverty, famine, drought, wars and disasters. 

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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

How are media reportings of muslims negative?

Muslims have been demonized in the mass media, and stereotyped as fundamentalists who threaten British values, for example by opressing women by forcing them to wear the headscarf. The negative media reportings generated a moral panic, which has caused islamaphobia. 

What is islamaphobia?

Islamophobia is an irritianal fear and hatred towards Islam, Muslims or the Islamic culture. Islamophobia has become part of middle class culture, it has therefore become accpetable to talk about Muslims as middle class finner parties in a prejudice way

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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

What are the explanations for the stereotyping of ethnicity?

  • Cottle suggests that negative coverage of ethnic minorities is popular with audiences as it constructs a sense of identity. This allows white audiences to see themselves as better than any other ethnic group.
  • Neo-marxists believe that the high dominance of white working class individuals  in the media mean ethnic minorities are mre at risk of being represented negatively.

How are stereotypes of ethnic minority groups changing?

  • There are larger markets for Asian women magazines- the mainstream media competes with this and puts more information out about ethnic minorities in the media.
  • Young people from ethnic minority groups are more likely than other members of society to use social mediia, so they are able to get their point across and reject negative stereotypes.
  • Abercombe suggested that not all of the media is racist, he suggests that soap opears show a larger amount of ethnic minority chracters than other media. 
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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

Give two ways women represented in the media?

  • They are under-represented in the media industry- women are under-represented in positions of power and influence in the management of the media industry and among editors, journalists and TV producers. Women are faced with a glass ceiling which as an invisble barrier to progress in their career. 
  • The male gaze- In the media women a presented through the male gaze where women are seen as sexual objects, and images in the media focus on women and their physical appearance and sexuality, using camera angles that focus on sex appeal, their breasts, suuggestions of or actual nudity, to provide ****** pleasure for men. 


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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

Give 2 ways women are represented in the media?

  • The under-represntation and stereotyping women in media content- It is argued that men accounted for 84% of individuals mentioned or quoted in lead articles. In a study of media across the world the global media monitoring project found that 76% of people heared or read about in print radio or TV were male comapred to oonly 24% female. They also found that when women were interviewd in the news they were seen as ordinary people, but men were seen as experts. As well as this nearly half od all news stories reinforced gender stereotypes.
  • The patriarchal ideology and symbolic annihilation of women- the media tends to be patriarchal and spreads a patriarchal ideology. Symbolic annihilation, is the way that women are either invisble, under-represented or represented in a limited range of stereotyped roles or identities.
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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

How does the media influence the social construction of gender differences?

Connell argues that gender identities are constructed by the media reproducing hegemonic or culturally dominant stereotypes of the roles and relations between men and women. The media creates and reinforces hegemonic gender stereotypes, for example advertisiting promotes what Wolf calls the beauty myth- this is the idea that women are assessed primarly in terms of their appearance and are expected to confrom to  the male conceptions of female beauty. For example, lads mags continue to present women excusively as sexual objects. Women are also now so preoccupied with the shape they are in, due to newspapers, magazines, advertising, TV and films all promoting the prevealing ideal  body shape for women as more like a barbie doll than a real woman. 

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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

What stereotyped roles are women protrayed as in the media?

  • The WAG- the wives and girlfriends of men, who are concerned with beauty, love, romnce and being pretty  and sexually active.
  • The sex object- the slim, sexually seductive scantily clad figure, for example page 3.
  • The supermum- the happy homemaker, or part-time worker, who is concerned with child rearing, housework, cooking and family realtionships.
  • The angel- who is good and displays little sexuality, someone who is sensitive and domesticated and supports her man. 
  • The ball breaker- who is sexually active, strong, selfish, independent, ambitious and career mined and not dependent on a man.
  • The victim- as in many hoor and crime film, with men the cause of their problems and sometimes their saviour.

What is the cult of feminity?

Magazines prepare girls for feminized adult roles, it included themes like getting and keeping a partner, being a good wife, what to wear and how to be a good cook.

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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

How are men represented in the media?

Men appear in a much wider rangeof roles, they often carry a high status for example a boss or manager. Male voices are also more likely to be used in voiceovers, presenting and reinforcing the idea of men as authority figures, opinion formers and experts. Men are presented in the stereotypes hegemonic masculine identity of the tough, assertive, dominant male. Men are also presented as having interests of the hegemoonic masculine identity, such as DIY, sport, computers and transport.


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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

How are men sterotyped in the media?

  • The joker- who used laughter to avoid displaying seriousness and emotion.
  • The jock- who avoids being soft, and who shows agression to demonstrate his power and strength to win the apporval of other men and admiration of women.
  • The strong and silent type- who is in control, acts decisively, avoids talking about feelings or showing emotion and is successful with women.
  • The big shot- who is economically and socially successful anf has a high social status and possessions to match.
  • The action hero- who is strong but not silent, who strows extreme agression and violence.
  • The buffoon- who is well intentioned and light hearted, for example an inept figure in TV and sitcoms and who is hopless in domestic matters.
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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

What is the pluralist explantion of gender stereoetyping?

Pluralists suggest that stereotyping occurs because that is what the media audience wants. Media organisations includding advertising, are driven by the need to attract audiences to make money. Stereotypes provide a simple and effective way of satisfying the wishes of  both audiences and media organisations.

What is the liberal feminsit explanation of stereotyping?

They see media  representations of the product of the under-representation of women, as cheif executives, senior managers, ediots and journalists in male dominated media organisattions, which encourages a male view of the world. They belive this will change as women gain more power and equual opportunities in media organisations, enabling them to break through the glass ceiling.

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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

What is the marxist/marxist feminist explanation of stereotyping?

See media imagery of gender as rooted in the need to make profits. Media owners and the producers of media content need to attract advertisers, and the advertisers need stereotypes to promote sales of all manners of comestics, fashions and diets. If audiences weren't persuaded to be concerend about these things there would be no profit. Marxist feminsits share with radical feminists the view thatt the gender rrepresentations are driven by the partirarchal ideology, but they particulary emphasize that this ideologyis linked to social class ineuqality. Media- generated partiarchal imagery projects a lifestyle in which working class women are the least able to participate in.

What is the radical feminist explantion of stereotyping?

See media representations as arising from the nesscity to promote and reproduce patriarchy and patriarchal ideology. The media wotld, is a mans world, which seeks to keep women in a narrow range of stereotpyed toles, where they continue to be subordinated by men, where they conform to the beauty myth and look good for the male gaze.

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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

Are media stereotypes of gender changing?

Mcrobbie suggests that in postmodern society, there is much more fluidity and flexibility in the representations of men and women in the media, in keeping wth the changes in wider sociey. There is now a growing social expectation that womeen and men should be treated equally, and i increasingly reflected in the media, in which representationsof gender are changing all the time.

What are the changing representations of females?

There is now much more ephasis on indepedence and sexual freedom for women, and there is a growing diveristy of imagery: womens position in society is changing rapidly, they are becoming more sucessful in education and in jobs. Mcrobbie argues that new form of popular feminsim has emerged in young womens magazines. These promote female assertiveness, being in control and enjoying sex as entitlements and encouraged their readers to become more self aware, self confident, ambitious and independent.

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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

What changing representations are there of males?

Gauntlett argues that media protryals of men are also changing, with a wider range of representations of masculinity, opening up new choices for men to construct identities diffeerent from traditional hegemonic masculinit. Mens lifestyle magazines arre offereing new ways of thinkiing about what it is to be a man and as Gauntlett says while sometimes going overbaord encourage men to understand women and face up to mdern realities.

How can these changes in representations be explained?

The power of adverisers and the need to attract media audiences. Advertisers have found new ways of taping into a lucrative mens market for consumer comestics. Whilst women are becoming more successful and have growinf power in society, and traditional stereotypes have less appeal than ever, and media representationss need to reflect this if they are to maintain female audiences. 

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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

How is homosexuality represented in the media?

The media are controlled by middle class white, perdominantly heterosexual men, so the media view of homosexuality is formed through a heterosexual media gaze. Thhe fear of loss of profits if investors, advertisers or media audiences are offened has meant female and male homosexuality have been treated as perverse and deviant by the media. Women are stereotyped as butch lesbians and gay men as effeminate and camp. Gays and lesbians have been protrayed as marginal to society, as odd and colourful camp chracters and figures of fun. This treatment of gays and lesbians means the media presents a distorted view of homosexuality, protraying it as a social threat and causing moral panics. 

How are homosexual individuals symbolically annihilated?

Gross argues the media have symbolically annihilated gays and lesbians by exluding them altogether, or trivalized, condemened or made fun of them. Gauntlett argues the homosexual individuals are still under-represented and protrayed negatively by the mainstream media. 

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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

How are views of homosexuality changing and gaining tolerance?

There has been a growing accpetance and tolerance of a diversity of different sexual orientations. There is evidence of some change in  traditional representatons of homosexuality, and the camp gays/butch lesbian stereotypes have largely disappeared. Soap operas now give us insight into lesbian and gay relationships and other images of sexual indentieis we may not be familar with. The popualrit of gay media celebrties such as Gok Wan and Alan Carr confirm that the media representations and audience reactions are beginning to change.

How and why is gay sexuality presneted in a sanitized way?

Gill suggests that to avoid the risk of offending heterosexual audiences or of putting off advertisers, manstream media represent gay sexuality only in a sanatized way. Gay men for example, are rarely protrayed in a sexualized way, for eample kissing, touching or having sex. Instead they appear as stylish and attarctive figures in advertising ith beautiful bodies which are designed to appeal to women rather than other gay men. The opposite applies for lesbians who ar represnted a highly sexualised way, which appeals to male sexual fantasies- that of watching women engage in intimate sexual conduct. 

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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

How is disabiltiy socially constructed?

Shakespere sees disability as a social construction- a problem created by the attitudes of society and not by the state of our bodies. Shakespere argues that disability is created by societies that do not take into account the needs of those who do not meet societys ideas of normal. The stereotype in any society of a normal or acceptable body may generate a disabled identitiy among those with bodies that do not conform to this stereotype, particulary those with a physical imapirment, even when it does effect mobilitty or cause physical difficulties for the individual, for example an individual with a facial disfigurement. 

How is disablity under-represented in the media?

A quater of all adults are disbailed. However, these disabled individuals are under-represented amongst those who work in the media industry and media content, and are often protrayed in negative ways. Cumberbatch et al in a conent analysis of popualr Tv sows found that people protrayed as disabled represented 2.5% of the TV population, compared to more than 1 in 5 in the real world. They found that disabled individuals in the media seemed to appear to be playing the role of a disabled person, rather than people who happened to have an impairment. 

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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

How is diablity protrayed negatively in the media?

The proportion of articles linking disability to benefit fraud has more than doubled in 5 years, and nearly 1 in 5 articles discussed diability using terms such as scrounger, cheat and skiver, including the idea that life on benefits had become a lifestyle choice for some people, suggesting such people were undeserving. Philo et al  found that such negative stereotypes were also applied to people with disabiling mental health conditions. They found nearly half of peak-time programes with mental illness stroylines protrayed people with mental health problems as posing a threat to others.


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Media- topic 4- Media representations of different

What media stereotypes are there of diability?

  • As pitable or pathetic- characters that stir emotion and encourage pity in audiences, and progrmmes that treat disabled people as the object of charity.
  • As non sexual- disbaled people are seen a sexually dead and therefore their lives are not worth living.
  • As an object of violence- as victims for example being helpless and vulnerable.
  • As sinister or evil- for example criminals in james bond films such as Dr No with two artificial hands.
  • As the super cripple- seen as brave, courageous, living with and overcoming their disability.
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