Representation of gender



The process of taking something real, such as a person, an event or an issue and changing it's form to create a media text.

Mediation is acheived through:

  • Selection
  • Organisation
  • Focusing
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Whatever ends up on the screen or in print, a lot more will have been left out.

Someone will have made the decision about what will be included and what to omit

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The elements that go to make up the final text will have been constructed in a way that real life is not

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Mediation encourages the audience to focus on a particular text to push us towards making assumptions and to draw conclusions. 

In a drama the camera may focus on a particular charcter. Similarly, our eyes are drawn to the headlines and coverlines in newspapers and magazines

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Reflective view

When the media represents something, we are taking it's true meaning and trying to create a replica of it in the mind of the audience- like a reflection.

Many people believe that the news works like this- producers take the truth of the news and present it as accurately as possible. What we see is a straightforward reflection of the real world.

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Intentional view

This is the opposite of the reflective idea, this time the most important person is the one doing the representing.

They are presenting their view of the thing they are representing and the words or images that they use mean what they intend them to mean. This is known as preferred reading. The meaning that producers of texts would like the audience to receive.

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Constructionist view

Any representation is a mixture of:

  • The thing itself
  • The opinions of the people doing the representation
  • The reaction of the individual to the representation
  • The context of the society in which the representation is taking place

The constructionist view entirely accepts that representations can be deconstructed by looking at a combination of factors

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'The context of the society in which the representation is taking place'

This is about systems of belief within a society. This is called the dominant ideology

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A standardised, usually oversimplified, mental picture or attitude that is held in common by members of a group.

Stereotypes are not constructed by the media- they are used and they are reinforced by the media.

However stereotypes themselves are constructions, and as such they can be analysed and deconstructed:

  • Appearence
    • Can include physical appearence and clothing as well as the sound of the voice
  • Behaviour
    • Typical things that people in this group might do. There will always be a comparrison whether real or imaginary to the 'normal'
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In hegemony the ruling classes govern by consensus: Thye control the way the media represents the world so as to influence the way people think about the world and the ruling classes.

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Men have helf power in our society. The system where men power and control

'Gender ideology refers to attitudes regarding the appropriate roles, rights, and responsibilities of women and men in society'        -Amy Kroska

  • Usually (most powerful) straight, white, over 40
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Resulted in an antifeminism legeslation and increased respect and opportunities from women

From the 60s feminism challenged patriarchy. Feminsism saught to gain equality for women and argued that changing representation in the media was vital to do so. Suddenly gender roles were less dtained and this was represented in media

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An extreme macho identity aimed at making men distinct from women along traditional lines e.g the lad

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