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The first couple weeks of the course notes

by: Ryan Furness

The first couple weeks of the course notes BRC 350

Marketplace > SUNY College at Oswego > Broadcasting > BRC 350 > The first couple weeks of the course notes
Ryan Furness
SUNY Oswego
GPA 2.69

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These notes are what's going to be on our next exam
Children Women and Minorities in the media
Dr Jennifer Fogel
Class Notes
Feminism, encoding, decoding, masculinity
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This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ryan Furness on Monday September 19, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to BRC 350 at SUNY College at Oswego taught by Dr Jennifer Fogel in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 7 views. For similar materials see Children Women and Minorities in the media in Broadcasting at SUNY College at Oswego.


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Date Created: 09/19/16
 Introduction to Studying Media (Representation) Dr. Jennifer Fogel SUNY-Oswego 9/8/16  Transmission Model of Comm.  Mass Communication  4 main characteristics: ◦ One-way flow, from sender to the receiver (or audience) ◦ Communicates from one to many (large, heterogeneous audiences) ◦ Communication is anonymous ◦ Audience seen as passive, offer little feedback  Encoding/Decoding (Stuart Hall)  Examines the relationship between audiences and the text  Encoding is the process by which a text is constructed by its producers  Decoding is the process by which the audience reads, understands and interprets a text  Encoding/Decoding Model  The media encode ideologies into the media text  Encoding/Decoding  It is how media messages are produced, circulated, and consumed  Hall argues that the meaning is not fixed by the sender, the message is never clear, and the audience is not a passive recipient of meaning  Encoding/Decoding  But texts are polysemic – they can be read differently by different people depending on their identity, cultural knowledge and opinions  Thus, audiences play an active role in reading texts and each person has the ability to interpret the same text differently. The text by itself has no specific meaning.  Circuit of Communication  Encoding  How are messages “encoded” in to a text?  Predominantly from the dominant ideology  Institutional context from which the text emerges & is regulated  But meanings cannot be imposed, only preferred  Encoding/Decoding  Encoding process is relatively independent from the decoding process  Misunderstandings arise when there is a lack of equivalence between encoding and decoding process.  Equivalence in encoding/decoding means that certain codes have become natural – hegemonic  Decoding  Stuart Hall suggests that there is a necessary correlation between people’s social situations & the meanings that they may generate from a media text  Three Reading Strategies  The dominant/preferred meaning  The negotiated reading  The oppositional reading  Dominant “reading”  Dominant/preferred reading ◦ Reproduce hegemonic interpretations of reality ◦ Relies on Dominant Ideologies: Promote some messages over others; seems common sense ◦ Oppositional “reading”  The oppositional reading ◦ Critical consumers reject the media’s intended & preferred meaning ◦ Reading Against Grain ◦ Refuse to Accept Dominant Meanings ◦ EX: Modern Racism  Negotiated “reading”  The negotiated reading ◦ Audience members are able to accept dominant ideologies but will operate with some exceptions ◦ Reading With/Against Grain ◦ Use Variety of Resources ◦ Most Common Position  Encoding/Decoding Example  Representation and the Media  Stuart Hall argues:  The process of representation itself constitutes the very world it aims to represent, and explores how the shared language of a culture, its signs and images, provides a conceptual roadmap that gives meaning to the world rather than simply reflecting it.  Representation and the Media 1. How does Stuart Hall define representation? 2. How does this “new” definition compare to the old view of “representation?” 3. How does Hall’s concept of representation relate to his concepts of “encoding” and “decoding?”  Why Should/How Should We Study Gender and the Media Dr. Jennifer Fogel SUNY-Oswego 9/13/16  What is feminism?  “I am not a feminist…”  Banning Feminism (2014)  Can men be feminists?  Social Construction of Gender  Social Construction of Gender  “One is not born, but rather becomes a woman”  Gender is an identity that is socially produced rather than biologically determined  Gender is used to regulate human behavior & social relations  Gender norms are connected to a much larger power structure: patriarchy  What is feminism?  Need to speak of feminisms  Can be divided by time period—First, Second, Third Wave  Vary by national/cultural context  Commonalities include an unconditional focus on analyzing gender as a mechanism that structures our world and our experiences within it.  Feminism: First Wave  Grew out of the reform movements in early 1800s (women’s education, health)  In 1848, Stanton and Mott organized the Seneca Falls Convention,; outlined women’s desire for suffrage.  Congress ratified the 19 Amendment granting women the right to vote in 1920  Feminism: Second Wave  1960s/1970s Equal Rights ◦ Betty Friedan and The Feminine Mystique (1963) ◦ No longer Post-WWII ideology of suburban familial bliss  Move towards conceptual equality between men and women inside and outside the home  Radical Feminism - Separatists  Believe male power is at the root of women’s oppression  Do not believe the system can be reformed, must be eradicated  Advocated for a social revolution that would eliminate the division of society based on sex  Liberal Feminism - Equality  Work towards an egalitarian society which would uphold the rights of each individual to fulfill their potential  They saw policy change as the key to women’s betterment, particularly in the realms of work, education, and politics  Example: ERA = Equal Rights Amendment  Cultural Feminism - Difference  Believe that women are biologically, psychologically, and spiritually different from men  Purposely privilege females and femininity so as to counteract years of their marginalization and disparagement under patriarchy  Pro-female perspective, highlight women’s accomplishments, legitimate “traditional” female traits and femininity  Critiqued for homogenizing women’s experiences  Critiques of Feminism  Often homogenized women’s identities and experiences  Often ignored intersecting experiences of gender, race, and class. ◦ Critiqued for favoring white, middle-class women  Advocated for women to use men as role models  Contributed to the persistence of traditional gender roles within domestic relations  Feminist Theory since 2W  Black feminist thought/women of color feminism/third wave feminism ◦ Seeks to acknowledge/theorize diversity in privilege among women  Focuses on intersectionality ◦ How various biological, social, and cultural categories (e.g., gender, race, class, sexual orientation, etc.) interact on multiple and often simultaneous levels ◦ Allows for coalition across differences  Third Wave Feminism  Avoids essentialism  Post-structuralist understandings of gender  Incorporates: queer theory, girl power, transgender politics, etc.  Reclaims “sex” and “popular culture” and their impact on empowerment  Focus on girls, girlhood, and girls’ culture  Representation  The Feminine Mystique  Published in 1963, is typically cited as the text responsible for inaugurating the study of gender & media  First to examine the portrayal of women in mass media, specifically women’s magazines  Friedan pioneered an understanding of the significance of media texts as sites of gender (re)production.  Women’s Movement - 1970  Gender/Media Studies  Early media studies work on gender were simple quantitative research to call attention to disparities in percentages of depictions  Later, qualitative work utilized ideological analysis and critical theory to examine how representation, production, and reception of gender images impacts women (and men).  Symbolic Annihilation of Women  Foundational study of the representation of women in the media  Analyzed the representation of women in relation to portrayals of men  Noted roles, behaviors, character traits, etc., historically identified with women and femininity  She also focused on media specifically consumed by women  Tuchman - Purpose  What are the media telling us about ourselves?  How do they say women and men should behave?  How women should view themselves?  What do the media view as the best way for a woman to structure her life?  What do they tell a little girl to expect or hope for when she becomes a woman?  Symbolic Annihilation of Women  Reflection Hypothesis: ◦ The mass media reflect dominant societal values ◦ These ideas and ideals are incorporated as symbolic representations of American society, not as literal portrayals  Symbolic Annihilation of Women ◦ Condemnation, Trivialization or Absence ◦ “Ignoring women at work & trivializing women through banishment to hearth & home...” (Tuchman, 183)  Tuchman - Research  Sex-role stereotypes are set portrayals of sex-appropriate appearance, interests, skills, behaviors, and self-perceptions  Women are symbolically annihilated: ◦ Working women are condemned, others are trivialized: they are symbolized as child-like adornments, who need to be protected or they are dismissed to the protective confines of the home  Tuchman – Findings/Claims  Symbolic annihilation of women will endanger social development for girls ◦ Women lack positive images on which to model their behavior  Media symbolically denigrate women, either by not showing them at all, or by depicting them in stereotypical roles  What did she find in the specific media she looked at?  Women’s Magazines  Often denigrate working women  Fiction depicts women “as creatures defined by the men in their lives”  4 roles for women? ◦ Single and looking for a husband ◦ housewife-mother ◦ Spinster ◦ widowed or divorced – soon to remarry  Media Studies Then & Now  Media Activism was easier in the 70s b/c of clear needs  It’s more complicated today… ◦ Hard to make claims of “Media” ◦ Need to promote a multiplicity of images to combat stereotypes ◦ How do we define “positive” images? ◦ Need to get more women working in media ◦ Tuchman - Discussion  How do you think media have changed from what Tuchman reports as conventional in the 1970s?  Have some media changed more than others? In what media forms do we still predominately see women in the home?  How does the “business of media” affect gender representation and coverage?  New Trends in Gender/Media Studies  Men and masculinity  Intersectional approaches  Attention to contemporary ideologies: third wave and postfeminism  Expansion beyond textual study  Broadening beyond media studies scholars  Constructing Femininity  Dr. Jennifer Fogel  SUNY-Oswego  9/15/16  Constructing Gender  What is the feminine ideal?  New Barbies?  Transgender doll?  Miss America Pageant  Beauty Pageants  The Miss America contestant’s body, through her disciplined physique and commitment to virtue represented the ideal female  Beauty pageants are not simply sites to objectify the feminine body, they also articulate what is proper femininity  Femininity & Young Girls  Cosmetic Surgery Makeover Show  Extreme Makeover  Reality makeover shows clearly & uncritically legitimate the increasing normalization of the cultural practice of cosmetic surgery in U.S. culture, and conflate personal fulfillment and individual achievement with the attainment of a physically ideal body  Extreme Makeover  Feminism and Extreme Makeovers  Figures surgery as a means to empower the suffering individual  Locates physical appearance as the site which produces unhappiness – surgery becomes the “cure.”  Cosmetic surgery becomes about “justice,” not feminine ideal per se.  Nip/Tuck as feminist?  Lifestyle Makeover Shows  Plus sized women  Things women hear…  Women vs. Women?  Maria Kang – fitness enthusiast/mother  Image is harmless, except… ◦ “What’s your excuse?” ◦ Accused of bullying, fat-shaming women  Inspiration or Offensive?  Acting Feminine  OMG: Olympians wear makeup?


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