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ProducingGender

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Information about ProducingGender
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Published on February 19, 2008

Author: Brainy007

Source: authorstream.com

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Producing Gender:  Producing Gender advertising and the construction of identity ‘effects’ arguments for and against regulation of standards in advertising/ other contents Advertising and Construction of Identity:  Advertising and Construction of Identity Jean Kilbourn’s Killing Us Softly III is representative of reform liberal feminist criticism of the media Objectification and Beautification also now extended to young males Young men now increasingly into body building, ‘six packs’ and sexual display Key Ideas:  Key Ideas For most people, the identification of oneself as female or male is the foundation of self-identity Men may ‘naturally’ be seen as more aggressive, domineering, competitive and hierarchically oriented Females may ‘naturally’ be seen as more passive, acquiescent, nurturing , egalitarian and domestically oriented These arguments are ‘essentialist’: that is, they assume a kind of biological determinism or universal pattern of culture BUT: Biology may determine our sex as male or female but culture shapes the content and conduct of what it takes to be a woman or a man (Fleras,2001:112) Gender identity is socialized: it is a cultural construct that the media actively work to promote Sex/gender distinction is a matter of social power Therefore: media representation of gender important Theoretical Basis for Critique:  Theoretical Basis for Critique Based on Cultivation Hypothesis Repeated exposure to stereotypes of women may ‘condition’ a world view where Women are subordinate Women are defined by sexual display Women are sexually available ( see Signorelli of the Annenberg school) Reinforcing patriarchal social values ( hegemonic/dominant cultural power) Theory 2:  Theory 2 Effects studies Tannis McBeth Williams Experimental study Notel, Unitel, Multitel introduction of TV to a Northern Canadian Community Found children’s play exhibited more sex-role stereotyped behaviors after introduction of TV Perceptions more traditional Judge stories on the basis of what they look like rather than what they do Theory 3:  Theory 3 Studies of Social Psychology Emergence of self esteem Body Image Trend to thinner and thinner models ( average more than 30% underweight) More and more young women would like to look differently, are dieting for ideal shape Rise of eating disorders, both genders Theory 4 :  Theory 4 Stereotype: a reduction of persons to a set of exaggerated, usually negative, character traits How measured: ‘content analysis’ Textual analysis: roles Madonna/whore dichotomy Other common stereotypes ( Meehan) Matriarch, goodwife, witch, bitch,decoy, victim, courtesan, siren or temptress. Concern with images of women, tries to make assertions about the truth and falsity of representations: Theory 5:  Theory 5 Political Ideology: Rise of egalitarianism Charter of Rights and Freedoms since 1982 Growing labour force participation of women ( equal economic partners) Concern to remove sexist and discriminatory barriers Different cultural values US public opinion polls reveal a more patriarchal set of values; no entrenched Constitutional provision prohibiting discrimination on basis of gender, age, sexual orientation, or race as there is in Canada ( preamble to Charter) Theory 6:  Theory 6 Also implicit is the variant of feminist ideology: Liberal feminism– concern with removing sexist barriers Radical Feminism-concern with ideological transformation, oppression-free society Conservative Feminism- concern with restoring religious and maternal values ‘Post modern Feminism’- celebrating female empowerment, differences, permissive sexuality ( Madonna and freedom of sexual expression) ( Barker, p. 103.) Theory 7:  Theory 7 In addition to a democratic point of view about gender equality, there are hidden assumptions about the role of the media Fleras: courseware: 225 argues: In short, critics from Jean Kilbourne to Germaine Greer tend to admonish the media for refusing to reflect the multi faceted realities of contemporary women. Yet the media do not claim to reflect reality: Only a degree of realism is required. Nor are the media in any position to address the diverse realities occupied by women…( they) can only attempt to combine elements of fantasy and realism in a way that embraces realistic images for commercial or ideological purposes. Is this a cynical neo-liberal or libertarian view? State Response:  State Response If public pressure, state may: Regulate ( CRTC until the 1990s) Call for self-regulation and industry standards ( with threat of sanction) Educate/encourage literacy campaigns History of Regulation:  History of Regulation When films first introduced in North America, widespread moral panics ( 20s and 30s) Payne Studies looked at influence of film on youth and moral standards Under pressure from various conservative and religious groups( Catholic Legion of decency) in the 1930s, the US had a Motion Picture Production Code– featuring prior restraint ( cutting ) for “excessive and lustful kissing,lustful embraces, suggestive postures and gestures” In force in the US until Miracle case ( Roberto Rosellini) in the 1950s In Canada, continue to have provincial censorship boards for film History 2:  History 2 In 1968 Jack Valenti of the Motion Pictures Association of America set up a voluntary ratings system administered by an industry association: G– general audiences PG-parental guidance PG-13- parenst strongly cautioned R-restricted, or NC-17 (Eyes Wide Shut) Wider ambit for regulation after introduction of broadcasting Canadian Broadcast Standards Council:  Canadian Broadcast Standards Council Broadcasting has a regulator charged with oversight of quality and diversity of content; unlike print media CRTC insisted on the creation of a TV industry council and guidelines in early 1990s Unlike the US, Canada has a set of standards on sex role portrayal guidelines Canada singled out as a leader worldwide ( Gallagher, 2001) CBSC Sex Role Portrayal Guidelines for TV:  CBSC Sex Role Portrayal Guidelines for TV Endorses non sexist language Realistic balance in use of women and men as voiceovers and as experts and authorities Visibility and Involvement of women in broadcasting on and off air Portrayal of women and men with diversity of age, abilities, physical appearance, ethnic origin, occupation,family structure,and household responsibilities ( a broad demographic spectrum) CBSC 2:  CBSC 2 Injunction on ‘sex-ploitation’ “TV and radio shall refrain from the exploitation of women, men and children. Negative or degrading comments… shall be avoided. Modes of dress, camera, focus on body… should not be degrading to either sex. The sexualization of children through dress or behavior is not acceptable” Accepts complaints and rules on them: decisions found on CBSC website Leading case against the Howard Stern Show (1997) held that “women in this country are entitled to the respect which their intellectual, emotional and personal and artistic qualities merit. Nor more than men. No less than men. But every bit as much as men.” Advertising Standards Canada:  Advertising Standards Canada Guidelines hold that: Advertising should strive for equal representation Avoid inappropriate use or exploitation of sexuality for both men and women ( when sexuality on display merely for gratification of others, and not relevant to product, or creative scenario) On sexualization of portrayal: There is nothing wrong with positive, relevant sexuality in advertising which portrays a person in control of and celebrating his/her own sexuality…however, people must not be portrayed as primarily sexual or defined by their sexuality. Clothes, behaviors, positions, poses, cameral angles, camera as voyeur, audio or product placement can all contribute implicitly or explicitly to sexualization ASC:  ASC On Irrelevant Sexual Association: using or deisplaying a woman’s sexuality in order to sell a product that has no relation to sexuality is by definition exploitative Advertising must avoid the exploitation of nudity and irrelevant segmentation of body parts On Sexual Harrassment: People must not portray sexual harrassment as acceptable or normal behavior in either covert or overt ways and should avoid representing women as prey or objects of uncontrolled desire On Objectification and Commoditization: People should not be portrayed as objects, toys, animals or with animal like characteristics. Nor should products be attributed with negative gender stereotypical traits On Violence: Neither sex should be portrayed as exerting dominance over the other by means of overt or implied threats or actual force. Images or texts which imply domination, aggression or violence or enjoyment of same, should not be used. Review of the Standards Councils:  Review of the Standards Councils Voluntary Issues warnings or suggest discontinuance Little teeth Interest groups like Mediawatch or Canadian Centre on Race Relations are concerned about: Low public awareness of the codes Low numbers of complaints Little review of the decisions for consistency with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms Major problems:  Major problems Despite the fact that Canada is among the leaders in setting ethical standards of gender representation, these codes are toothless when it comes to foreign imports There is no global system to protest offensive contents made in another country and received directly ( via satellite from them) But, if, say the Simpsons is carried by a Canadian license broadcaster, it is subject to Canadian jurisdiction Defense from Advertisers:  Defense from Advertisers Creative expression and humourous context can excuse sexism Individual creative teams cannot be responsible for systemic sexism Stereotypes are universal and effective cultural shorthand ( recognition value does not imply belief) Narratives are mythical: to provoke desire, not mimic reality People seek ideals not reality based portrayals Tests for Textual Analysis: Stereotyping and Sexploitation:  Tests for Textual Analysis: Stereotyping and Sexploitation Is sexual commercial appeal ‘gratuitous’? Are women depicted as obsessed with appearance? Are women defined by relationship to the ‘male gaze’? Lack of face-ism Licensed withdrawal( fantasy) Unsolicited or unreciprocal touch Cant of head, eye contact Bodily domination ( centre in picture) Are they depicted in domestic/maternal or social relationships? Decoding Grrl Power:  Decoding Grrl Power Cannot underestimate ‘desire’– pleasures of romance, male attention, ‘sexual currency’ Paradox of pleasure, empowerment through sexual display and fear of ‘ecstasy’ Willing ‘consumption’ of popular media images of women– younger and younger Tests for Analysis: Degradation and Dehumanization:  Tests for Analysis: Degradation and Dehumanization Abusive and discriminatory speech Promoting hatred against a specific group ( with risk of demonstrable harm) Undue exploitation of power relationship ( subjugation) Violence against women: degradation and dehumanization Toughest area: in the grey area between pornography, erotica and popular culture Tolerance for graphic depictions of sex ( and deviancy) Turns on issue of consent Protects against exploitation of children Obscenity:  Obscenity Radically different cultural interpretations over time Governed by the Criminal Codes Definition has moved from religious to secular interpretation Religious: anything that dilutes moral standards Secular: Turns on ‘average person applying contemporary community standards in finding that the material appeals to prurient interests’ Modern Canadian Definition: Depiction or description of sexual content in a patently offensive way No offsetting serious literary, artistic or other value In Canada: RCMP raids on bookstores eg. Little Sisters An active lobby against censorship ( Library Associations, Writers’ Guilds, Civil Liberties Associations) Further Reading:  Further Reading www.mediawatch.ca/watching the watchers Barker,C.1999. “ Sexed Subjects and Gendered Representations” TV, Globalization and Cultural Identity Gallagher,M.2001. Gendersetting Martin. M. 1997.’Capitalism and Partriarchy as Concepts of Media Consumption Analysis’ in Communication and Mass Media

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