Mass media describes technology that aims at reaching a mass audience and includes TV shows, films, music videos, adverts, and video games. The media can to affect the mind and manipulate perceptions and beliefs of people (Collins 290). Images on the mass media provide opinions on various principles, cultures, and religions. Stereotypes represent one of the key schemes within a social environment and can be acquired from observations or influence from other people and the media. In most cases, stereotypes are an impartial or false reflection of the realism due to the numerous generality. For instance, there is a great relationship between images of mass media and stereotypes of women in the U.S. There is a need to explore this relationship and how it can be changed.
Media presentations have a lasting impression on the public, and they play a vital role in shaping the stereotypes in the world. According to the theory of social construction, the mass media do not provide a reflection of the society in pragmatic senses (Bijker et al. 3). However, mass media is essential in constructing and maintaining it by providing particular meaning and understanding to the reality. It means that the media represents one of the key aspects of the society that are involved in the construction of various meanings. Also, it encourages particular meanings over others. Gender stereotypes are created by people but emphasized through media imaging. There is a range of generalizations about the roles of every gender. Gender roles cannot be viewed as positive or negative; nevertheless, they are mistaken generalizations of the characteristic of each gender. Every individual has their personal attributes, preferences, beliefs, and emotions; thus, such generalizations do not represent the reality (Collins 290). The most common stereotype is that females are less significant than males. This belief is reinforced by media images when men are portrayed as strong and powerful characters in films, song videos, and adverts. In most cases, the role of females in mainly based on appearance and not their ability.
Since in the olden times, males are viewed as providers, career oriented, sovereign, and aggressive. On the other hand, females are portrayed as workers of little ability, and affectionate wives who are responsible doing household chores. In the modern times, the differences between males and female have diminished. However, the media continue to use gender stereotypes, in relation to the assumptions that the stereotypes are popular and will help convey the intended message (Croteau and Hoynes 89). To change the relationship between mass media and gender stereotypes, the use of non-schematic ideas on adverts should be introduced. For instance, females should be represented as independent and powerful as expected by the society. On the other hand, males should be portrayed as responsible individuals who can undertake household chores such as washing and cleaning. Male roles in advertising should be reconstructed (Croteau and Hoynes 89). For example, commercial of cleansers should present handsome males cleaning the kitchen with the product. Such as scenario is contrary to the conventional scheme in which only females are responsible for household chores.
In summary, mass media is a powerful element in forming peoples perception and values. Stereotypes are commonly used in commercial, films, TV shows, and video games. Adverts contain some stereotypes as a key aspect of persuading the viewers. Thus, particular groups are generalized regardless of the individual differences. Nevertheless, there is a prospect that the current situation may change. The key step includes creating of non-stereotype commercial by advert professionals.
Bijker, Wiebe E., et al. The social construction of technological systems: New directions in the sociology and history of technology. MIT Press, 2012.
Collins, Rebecca L. "Content analysis of gender roles in media: Where are we now and where should we go?." Sex Roles vol. 64, no. 3, 2011: pp. 290-298.
Croteau, David, and William Hoynes. Media/Society: Industries, images, and audiences. Sage Publications, 2013.
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