The Mass Media reflects rather than creates stereotypical images of women

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“Mass Media reflects rather than creates a stereotypical image of women”. Some may argue that because of the way in which women are generally portrayed by the media, it may influence they’re role in today’s society. However I believe that the above statement is more accurate by saying that the media simply gives society an insight to what the woman’s role is. In today’s society the media, especially television, influences a lot of our ideas on topics such as identity and gender.

Most people as their main source of information use television. Women’s role in society has changed fairly drastically, for example nowadays there are more women filling roles that in the past were dominated by men. People of varying race, gender, class, age and so on are represented through the media, especially by forms such as the television and newspapers, and because identities are constantly altering, a huge focus is placed on these alterations.

It is thought that most of what we learn about gender comes by studying the way in which they are portrayed on television. The framing of gender is the process by which television programming divides up time and space and presents an account of viewers by factors such as age, gender, race, class and so on. Media is said to be neutral and caters for all of the before mentioned factors. This leads to the way in which television programs are split up.

Different programs are set at certain times, to cater for people of all ages, both male and female. Women generally watch programs such as chat shows, dramas, soap operas and so on. Men on the other hand have somewhat different interests and generally view programs such as sports and action. Gender identities and relations are normalized through television, and some types of programs that reflect this are soap operas, sitcoms and dramas. Soaps are specifically made for women.

They present morals of home, family and community. Women are often presented as dominant figures, for example Peggy Mitchell from East Enders. Women are portrayed performing many different tasks and filling many different roles. Some examples are lawyers, sports figures, and the more traditional role of the housewife and so on. In the beginning of my evaluation I agreed with the statement about how mass media reflects rather than creates stereotypical images of women. However there are always two ways to look at an argument.

Many people may not agree with how media reflects rather than creates stereotypical images due to the fact that people’s views and ideas are largely affected by what they see in the media. A lot of women stereo types are a result of everyday life. Some may even originate from hundreds of years back, an example of this is the idea that women are meant to be housewives, with tasks such as cooking, cleaning and looking after the children while the male goes out to and works to support his family.

The media somewhat exaggerates these ideas. Women’s role has changed drastically, this is due to more and more women doing typical male jobs, and another thing is the influence caused by individuals such as the ‘Spice Girls’ who have promoted girl power, mainly by the means of various types of MEDIA. There are many ways in which the media portrays various femininities, and it is interesting to see how they influence audiences. This is important for how we deal with gender in everyday life.

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