Paper Example on Post-Feminism Media Culture

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Carnegie Mellon University
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Representation is the way media content deal with and presents issues in the society like gender, ethnicity, age national identities, and other societal issues experienced by an audience. The content provided by the media has, therefore, the power to influence an audience understanding and knowledge regarding these matters. It, therefore, makes the media very powerful regarding changing attitudes and ideas. Representations invite viewers to understand them and agree with them in preferred ways. Aspects of illustration work in different ways. They consist of repeated elements; the more we see these items repeated, the more the representation will appear to be normal and acceptable. Also, images invite us to identify with or to recognize them. Those related to film production may have a view of the world that might be similar to ours in one way or another. If their representation fits well with us, we may as well identify with it. Moreover, the media makes categories of people ideologies and events. Representations are generalizations about types and why people, events, and ideas belong to them. The groups, in turn, become part of our thinking process. The general meaning of representations is selected and constructed having well-thought value and judgments. Representations also have an absolute mode in which they are addressed. For the critical analysis of representations, one need to understand questions like, who made it, when it was made, what its purposes are and who benefits from them.

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Stereotypes are also a part of representations in the media field. A stereotype is an oversimplified, cliched image, sometimes repeated to the point of establishing a pattern. Stereotypes are an extreme form of representations in most films. They are constructed by the process of selection. However, some societal aspects are focused on then exaggerated. In the extreme, stereotypes become caricatures resembling cartoons. Most groups in the society have stereotypes associated with them. These contain limited and distorted views. Stereotyping is frequently apparent when there is a power inequity between members of the community. For example, the relation between men and women can encourage the development of stereotypes on both sides. Likewise, disadvantaged minority groups often have stereotypes associated with them.

Similarly, counter-stereotypes have a place in representations present in media. A counter-stereotype deliberately sets out to change an earlier representation or seeks to portray a group in a positive way. Some people argue that counter-stereotypes can empower marginalized groups, while others say that they hinder the progress of minority groups because the actual picture often hides the reality that the teams encounter. Counter stereotypes also meet audience resistance and work to uphold the traditional portrayal.

Various factors affect representations in the media, and how they influence the understanding and knowledge of the issues in question. First and foremost, the team involved in the production of the films affects the nature of representations. In the 1960's, the production industry was male-dominated as females only worked as secretaries. Naturally, if almost all of the female representations were done by males, it would result in an imbalance of perception. In general, the workforce composition affects the representation. Reception is also another factor that affects representation in that, the audiences being addressed might not automatically accept a representation in the way the producer might have hoped.

A representation can also not be understood by itself but must be analyzed as part of the whole system in society. In television, the representation of people and ideologies happen within a programming system of genres, codes, and narratives. The representation of women, for instance, may be affected by a single image of the type of the woman shown in the context.

Whatever is happening in the society can also affect the representations in a film. The members of society live their lives in response to the value systems and ways of thinking about them. This correspondingly affects those who work in the media.

The broadness of various media aspects makes it difficult to generalize how gender is portrayed. According to Andrea press, active and courageous women were often portrayed in the media of the pre- feminist era. Most of the females were portrayed as wealthy, successful and independent. However, the difference comes in whereby their worlds were limited as women. Most films in the mainstream media focused on how difficult they found the different forms of injustices. In the 1940's, women seldom ventured out of their roles as wives and mothers to the male heroes. Traditionally, women served this function assigned to her gender while allowing the male gender to play his pre-ordained role. A great deal of magazines and films representations focused on the women's role at home.

The introduction of television brought with it a different representation of women, although that of the male gender remained relevant. Filmmakers and advertisers did not want to offend any person and therefore encouraged a gender balance in the media. With prolific actors such as Marilyn Monroe in the mainstream, film producers were able to make a lot of profit from the representation of women. In the 1960's only 18% of television characters were female. Their existence was mostly bound up with their children and husbands. In the feminist era, however, more focus was put on the male hero. Women appeared in work roles and men appeared in family functions.

In the past years, there have been tremendous changes in the media depictions of both men and women. A post-modern type of feminism called third-wave feminism is a strong influence. According to the content analysis of various magazines, the bodies of women are often objectified than men's and are more often exposed. Following a backlash from female consumers, advertisers and film producers were reluctant to release films of such kind. All these were propagated by several stereotypes that were highly associated with the female gender. A good example of a typical female stereotype in films is the dumb blonde. The dumb blonde is depicted as arising from the myth that a woman can have beauty or brains but not both. Another female stereotype is the femme fatale. She is a dangerous woman who is pictured to be using her sexuality to destroy men to be successful. The girl next door is also another female stereotype that shows a charming and trustworthy woman who is ideal for marriage. Other stereotypes include gold diggers and trophy wives, who marry men only for money and rely on them for support. The career woman is also depicted as a strong young female who at times can be ruthless. Finally, there is the super mother who puts everything in her life in order: kids, career, husbands and their personal growth.

Concerns around the portrayal of women in the television programs reached a peak in the 1970's, majorly because there were few female characters. In the present day, however, females are an audience that television is eager to please. Young women especially are the most sought after target group. Women have the most control over spending, and they watch the most television. Representations of women became a much more pleasant aspect in the society when their purchasing power came to light in the 1990's. According to media researchers, sitcoms are mostly targeting women more because they are losing men to modern media communications channels.

For some scholars, post-feminism represents an epistemological break with second wave women's liberation and marks the connection of feminism with some other anti-foundationalism movements. Post-feminism implies transformation and signals a critical engagement with past forms of feminism. It also represents a challenge hegemonic' Anglo-American feminism. Postfeminism in this sense marks a shift away from a focus on equality to a focus on debates about differences. Culturally, postfeminism is mostly encountered as an analytic perspective, rather than a description of the nature of any particular cultural product.

Post-feminism is also viewed as a historical shift, in that it is a special moment of feminist activity and a particular set of feminist concerns. Thirdly, post-feminism is used to refer to discourses that constitute part of a backlash against feminist achievements or goals. Backlash forms not only work by attributing all women's unhappiness to feminism but also suggest that men have become the new victims.

Postfeminism in media should be conceived as a form of sensibility, and related cultures should be given more efforts. One of the first striking aspects of postfeminist media culture is its obsessional worry with the body. Instead of caring or fostering or motherhood being regarded as a central issue of feminism, it is considered as possession of a sexy body, ' and this is presented as their source of identity. Surveillance of women's bodies constitutes the largest type of media content across all genres of media forms. Their bodies are evaluated, scrutinized, and examined by both women and men. This cultural obsession is common among celebrities who play their roles exclusively over the bodies of women. Most importantly, the female body in post-feminists culture is designed as a window to the individual's interior life.

There is a close relation between the focus on the bodies of women in the media culture and the Sexualization of contemporary culture. Sexualization in this sense refresh to the extraordinary proliferation of discourses regarding sex and sexuality across all media forms. Young girls and women are interrelated as monitors of the monitors of all the emotional and sexual features and relationships. On the other hand, Men, are pictured as hedonists just in need of shag'. The uneven distribution of these aspects of sex is crucial to understanding Sexualization in overall. Females are not objectified but are presented as active and desiring sexual subjects who choose to present themselves in a manner that seems objectified. It is most clear in the mainstream advertising media, where a figure regarding women is designed. This change is important to understanding the post-feminist sensibility. Furthermore, it represents a shift in the way social powers operate and also accounts for a higher form of exploitation than objectification. To be specific, this change is not necessarily, anti-sex'; nonetheless, it is to pinpoint the risks of such representations of females in a culture in which sexual violence is endemic.

One central aspect of postfeminist sensibility in media culture is the almost total evacuation of beliefs that are of political and cultural influence. The notion that our practices are selected freely fits well with broader postfeminist discourses which picture women as autonomous agents who are no longer constrained by any inequalities or imbalances in power. There is also a suggestion that implies a new view of authority as something both obvious and overbearing. This stresses the notion that females just please themselves. Likewise, it also presents women as entirely free subjects. Moreover, it avoids all the interesting and crucial questions about the relationship between representations and subjectivity.

In the modern days, neoliberal understanding of felinity is imperative that a person's sexual practices: however old-fashioned they are should be presented as freely as possible. There is an increased level of personal choice in the new emphasis on self-surveillance and self-discipline in the post-feminist culture of the media. Arguably, monitoring and examining femininity allow us to emulate the upper-class white deal carefully. Three distinct features, however, mark the...

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