The Student Room Group

A level sociology media students please mark/give feedback !!!!!!!

if you do a level sociology media please can you mark this 20 marker for me/ give feedback on what I could improve on:

Read Item B below and answer the question that follows.
Item B
Sociological studies have found that women appear on television less than men do and play a narrower range of roles. Women presenters are often young, glamorous, white and slim. In fiction, female characters are frequently portrayed as emotional. The media also show women how they should look and how to get
a partner.

Applying material from Item B and your knowledge, evaluate the view that the media portray women in a stereotypical way (20 marks)


my answer:

many feminist sociologists agree with the viewpoint that the media presents women in a stereotypical way. As mentioned in the extract, women presenters are often young, glamorous, white and slim. This links to Wolf’s theory of the beauty myth that the media portrays. The media shows women an idealised image of a what a woman should look like and if a woman is unable to conform to these standards she is made to feel as if they are less than unattractive to both their peers and potential suitors. By utilising the beauty myth in the media, women are pushed by the patriarchy into conforming to what societies standards expects them to be and reminds women of their submissive role of being an attentive wife and care-giver above all else. Women are not allowed to age within the media compared to their male counterparts, with older women being pushed into playing “asexual” roles such as grandmother or parent whilst men are allowed to “age gracefully” within the media. whilst by showing women in this idealised light, this portrays women in a stereotypical way.

However, the extent to which this depiction of women exists within the media can be questioned. Most modern news outlets have female presenters of all ages, races and sizes presenting news and other forms of media. This could be linked to the increase in women working in what was previously seen to be a “boys club” of media meaning that how women are shown is longer based on a stereotypical depiction but a more true to life picture

Another way in which the media presents women in a stereotypical way in particularly within the new media is within pornography. Radical feminist Dworkin argues that pornography portrays women in an excessively submissive and weak manner, with many prominent themes being the abuse, degradation or subjugation of women by men. This portrayal of women is seen by men as being stereotypic and Dworkin argues that there is a direct correlation between the viewing of violent pornography and committing rape or other forms of sexual assault. If men see this portrayal of women as stereotypical it again furthers the control of the patriarchy over women.

However, Dworkin has been heavily criticised by more liberal feminists over her views on pornography with others arguing that it allows for the sexual liberation of women and gives women the platform to express their sexuality on their own terms without having to be repressed by mens desires.

Neophiliacs would disagree with the view that the media portrays women in a stereotypical way. They argue that the diverse choice that the new media provides means that women are shown in a multitude of ways dependent on what culture or region that piece of media is from. For example, women in western media may be portrayed in a different way to women in eastern media. This increase in consumer choice provided by the new media and the collective growth of global media means that there is no real stereotypical portrayl of women anymore as it varies from regions. For examples, western beauty standards for women may clash with eastern beauty standards for women. These contrasting standards means that the overall depiction of women varies from region to region and means that women overall within the context of a global media are represented in so many different ways destroying the idea of a beauty myth or a stereotypical depiction. This can be seen with the increase in female superhero movies and women in leading roles (e.g: hit netlfix show Wednesday) alongside an increase in popularity of eastern media types such as anime and k-dramas exposes a western audience to different female ideals/archetypes which can challenge western “tradtional” stereotypes.

However, it can be argued that global media has not led to the decimation of the stereotypical portrayal of a women but rather collected all the different beauty standards across the globe and has led to a new beauty standard or stereotype for women.

In conclusion, the view that the media portrays women in a stereotypical way can be supported with many past and present media types such as the emphasis of female superheroes being attractive having to wear tighter, more revealing clothing compared to their male counter-parts and in the past women within male-dominated media fanbases such as sci-fi, women having little to none speaking roles. Contemporary media has a plethora of examples of stereotypical portrayls and women and sadly, the optimistic liberal feminist argument of a rise in popular feminism is not translating well on screen.
Sorry you've not had any responses about this. :frown: Are you sure you've posted in the right place? :smile: Here's a link to our subject forum which should help get you more responses if you post there. :redface:

Quick Reply