Week fourteen-A little update

This week I have been mainly proof reading what I have already written for my extended project essay. At the moment it is 25 pages. Overall, I have made good progress but need to focus on my discussion as it is quite fragmented and doesn’t read that well  at the moment.

I also took a trip to sussex library to find some more research and broaden my knowledge. I also hoped to find books that are more specially based on ‘language in advertising’ rather than the two separate topics. I found two useful books:

  • Unequal opportunities. The case study of women and the media Margaret Gallagher 1983 United Nations Educational, scientific and cultural organization

  • Gender and the media Rosalind Gill 2007 Polity Press

I took photocopies from these and have skimmed read and annotated them. I have added this new information to my EPQ draft.

Week thirteen- feminism gone too far

Continuing my research from last week, I finished notes from existing books I have that raised an interesting point that feminism may be going too far and now some say individuals believe men are getting a worst deal. Some of what I read may not be entirely helpful to my project (however is relevant to the topic gender)  but it broadens my understanding and is of personal interest to me.

I have then put my findings into my drafting format which I have made good progress on. My first draft will be complete most likely in a couple of weeks.

I have one more book to finish making notes from this week which is written by Jennifer Coates- a influential language theorist closely related to my theme of study. Mostly though I will be continuing refining my draft.

 

Media, Gender and Identity by David Gauntlett published 2002 Routledge Oxfordshire

Media and communications are a central element of modern life, whilst gender and sexuality remain at the core of how we think about our identities. The media contains so many images of men and women, the media not doubt is having some sort of impact of our identities. Things are constantly changing however which makes some research not as relevant.

Nowadays technology is at the heart of everything, tv’s, internet and also magazines. People in Europe usually spend 4 hours or more a day watching Tv. We are consuming and learning how to interaction with one another subconsciously.

It’s difficult to determine if sexes have equal rights. But some argue feminism has gone too far and now men get the worst deal in society (Farrell 2001).

Men and women claim to feel equal,but it is not entirely accurate. The UK national centre for social research (2000) reported:

The traditional view of women as dedicated housewives seems to be all but extinct. Only one in six women, and one in five men, think women should remain at home while men go out to work.

However UK:trends social 2001 still found women do more housework than men.

In 2001 Julie Mellor chair of the Uk’S Equal Opportunities Commission warned that society would have to change to match the expectations of confident female school leaves:

Britain still has to address the glaring inequalities that so many women and men face. Otherwise we rish disappointing the high hopes of girl power generation some of whom will be entering the job market before very long. They already earn 10% less than males. (UN 2000)

However, society has changed a great deal in the last 20th centenary and most people claim to favour gender equality. There is many more influential women nowadays who encourage women to stand on their our two feet.

Homosexuals still face prejudice especially from older generations but there is growing evidence to suggest society is becoming more accepting. In 2001, a study showed in Britain a more tolerant atmosphere (Arlidge). 17% say they feel negatively towards gays.

Biology determinism

Social constructionism

Limitations with this book: only looks at Western culture and focuses on popular mainstream media.

Past representations

Gunter (1995) and elasmar (1999) provide useful summaries of past tv shows.

Gunter in the 1970s consistently showed parenthood, marriage and domesticity were more important for women. McNiel found womens interactions were based on romance or family issues 74% cases. Men were seen as more dominant characters and decision makers.

Week twelve-Just like a girl

This week I have finished off making notes from the books I borrowed from the library: ‘Just like a girl’:How girls learn to be women’ Sue Sharpe published 1994 by Penguin Group and Gender R.W Connell published 2002.

Sue Sharpe’s book provided me with reasons as to why attitudes and social norms have developed in society, mainly through large scale events like the world wars. Whereas Connell’s book gave more of a sociological approach to the topic of gender and had some interesting theories e.g. body canvas, though it seemed less relevant to my project. Attitudes we hold as a society no doubt effects what is depicted in the media.  I will add this information to my essay.

The first world war 1914

Women enter munitions factories and other industries as men went off to fight for Britain. The government launched a scheme of national registration inviting women willing to work to enter themselves on a Register of Women for War Service. 87,000 applied. Women moved into more skilled work. Women had developed a new independence. Now generations growing up in the 20’s and 30’s had little of the feminist consciousness that had been so high before the war. Towards the end of the 20’s a wave of cultural and anti-feminism began. New images of femininity were projected in the media on a mass scale. However, reports of the positon of women in Nazi Germany influenced what was happening in Britain. It was implicit in the middle class ideology that is was preferrable for a wife not to work and that any aspiring husband she be able to earn enough to provide sufficiently and keep his wife at home.

World war two

Women volunteers. Many enter male jobs and proved to be just as good. However, many managements loathed the idea of training women. Womens real place at home was endorsed also at governmental level, and concern with welfare of family life, caused Beveridge to produce the basis of the welfare state in 1942. Women inequality in the workplace still continued after. Returning home after the war left many women discontent having experienced a new independence. In 1960 higher education was being offered to girls reinforcing the idea women could have a meaningful contribution to a workforce. As the sixties wore on youth divisions became less strict, with male and females wearing unisex clothes. In 1970, women’s rights were a big topic due to activities by the Womens Liberation Movement who campaigned for equal pay, accessible nursery provisions and encourage women to become active in trade union activities. 1975 saw the implementation of the sex discrimination act and equal pay (1970). Still continue though due to sex segregation in work and de-skilling of what women can do and what men can do. Even after the equal pay act, womens wages were still two thirds lower than mens.

Attitudes and ideas of girls are not only formed from tradition, but teaching and their own interaction with and interpretation of the world, but can be understood by examining the social relationship of their lives under the prevailing economic system.

The wedge between males and females was driven deeper by stereotypes- character dichotomy It can represent a prescription in which concepts of ‘normal’ behaviour are contained and where in the past feminine has been set as the opposite of masculine. Mass media has reflected this through time. The barrage of images individuals are subjected to, carve out conscious impressions about the nature of the world. The delicate women has now been replaced by a more sexual image. Women see there parents and people around them in sex defined jobs which they begin to believe is normal. Studies (Bronwyn Davies) have found children learn about masculine and feminine through language which provides means of social structure. e.g speech patterns. Davies said children recognize they are different but Kohlbergs theory of cognitive suggests children do not distinguish between male and female but actively seek out what they see as appropriate behaviour. They are contrasts. Power imbalance will remain as long as men and women are referred to separately . Females however are more likely to be denied opportunities and have a lower value in society.

Upbringing influences our attitudes. Boys are brought up to have an impact on the environment, while girls are protected from the environment. Boy are encouraged to direct and control situations while girls more dependent. This may mean girls always want approval of others to boost their self esteem.

Recent cultural studies of the body often focus on language on discourse, under the influence of Michel Foucault. Foucault showed in his studies ‘discipline and punish’ (1977) modern systems of knowledge sort people into categories, and how these categories are interwoven with techniques of social discipline that police their bodies. He failed to theorize gender but feminists like Fraser1989 turned it into a gender theory.