Chapter eleven assignment: gender content analysis
Having watched the video in which Dr. Jean Kilbourne analyzed mainstream advertising’s portrayal of males and females you are now going to do your own content analysis of gendered media images, focusing on both advertising and program content. To that end, please do the following:
Watch fifteen minutes of a cartoon (one geared toward children), including the commercials. NOTE: Sponge Bob, Rug Rats, Dora the Explorer, etc., are acceptable. The Simpsons and Family Guy are not for children. Watch fifteen minutes of a soap opera (or novela, if you prefer) or evening drama, including commercials. Watch fifteen minutes of a sporting event, including commercials.
You are to do a content analysis, analyzing media output with an eye toward the gendered messages. Specifically address the following questions:
1.To what extent are the men and women playing traditional gender roles? For example, males being portrayed as aggressive, dominant, strong, and goal-oriented while females are portrayed as being passive, nurturing, emotional, and other-oriented. To what extent are they being portrayed in non-traditional ways? For example, women as dominant and strong, men as passive and nurturing.
2.When men and women interact on screen who is more likely to define the situation? In other words, who has more power?
3.If someone needs to be saved or rescued, is it more likely to be the male or female? Who is more likely to do the saving?
4.Overall, what is the message that is being conveyed to females? Males?
5.Try to take the role of the other and view these images from the perspective of a twelve or thirteen-year old female. What might be the impact on your sense of self as well as your level of self-esteem? Be specific.
You should identify and describe the patterns you see emerging, USING SPECIFIC EXAMPLES. Also, you should identify and describe cases (i.e. specific examples) that go against the larger patterns. For example, it will likely be that the overall pattern portrays men as being dominant and aggressive, but you may find individual cases that do not match the pattern: some men may be portrayed as emotionally nurturing. Deal with both the larger pattern and the contradictions.
Include an introductory paragraph as well as a concluding paragraph in which you tie things together and make some summary statements. Your submission should be at least the equivalent of 2-3 pages of doubled spaced text. Spelling, grammar, and punctuation count. Proofread your work prior to submission. Text only; no docs., please.
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