Article

Gender and the Media

Cynthia Carter

in Communication

ISBN: 9780199756841
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199756841-0002
Gender and the Media

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Gender and media research has been a central field of academic inquiry since the 1970s. It is notable that two distinctive, and yet often overlapping, approaches characterize this field. The first is that of mainstream forms of gender and media studies research, which has been grounded in large part by assumptions about the ways in which the media contribute to the individual acquisition of gendered attitudes and behaviors and how sex-role stereotypes can impact negatively on an individual’s life chances, especially in terms of a person’s sense of self-worth, and social perceptions of women and their career prospects. The other field is that of feminist media studies, which is characterized as a political movement for gender justice, examining how gender relations are represented, the ways in which audiences make sense of them, and how media practitioners contribute to perpetuating gender injustice. At the center of this is the view that hierarchical gender relations (re)produce social inequalities across time and cultures, thereby making it difficult for men and women to be equal partners in a democratic society. In recent years, gender and media research has become much more globally oriented, with increasing attention paid to cultural, social, and economic differences as well as a greater awareness of the importance of interrogating media and masculinity.

Article.  9546 words. 

Subjects: Communication Studies

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