A Comparison of Gender Discourse in the Media – Term Paper Example

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The paper "A Comparison of Gender Discourse in the Media" is a wonderful example of a term paper on gender and sexual studies. In this 21st century, the media has become a major part of people’ s daily lives. It has a big influence on how individuals perceive the world (Lauzen & Dozier, 2005). There are various types of media including radio, television, newspapers, adverts placed at random places, and the internet. When carrying out everyday activities, people are confronted by different images of men and women. These images whether seen in person or the media tend to influence individuals consciously or subconsciously.

The fact that media is a big part of people’ s daily lives, and partly influences their perceptions of the world, it would be interesting to see how the representations portray gender through the ways they speak and communicate via these media. There has been previous research on this topic and this project report will be an addition to this vast array of research by analyzing the different gender representations in the media through discourse analysis. The different ways by which men and women communicate as represented by the media affect the conventional perception of what a man and a woman are (Gee, 2005).

This study, however, takes a slightly different approach since apart from differentiating the female and male dialogues it will also focus on particular similarities in the way men and women communicate in the media. This will be done by analyzing a number of texts from the GQ Australia and Woman’ s Day websites. Research Background on the Topic There is a vast amount of previous research that analyzes gender discourse in the median and how differently men and the different ways by which men and women communicate.

The previous research covers different forms of media like movies, prime-time television, music, cartoons, and other forms of animations, computer games, and most recently the media. There has been a wide range of different methods used for these previous studies and the most common ones were quantitative content analysis (Collins, 2011) and Discourse analysis (Rudy et al. , 2010). Goddard and Patterson (2000), emphasize the importance of noting the relationship between the speaker and the listener when analyzing differences in written discourse.

They suggest a number of domains that should be the point of focus when identifying the receiver (listener) of a written text and these include, the number of receivers, their age, cultural background, linguistic identity, physiological condition, positive or negative bias, power, and most importantly gender. The role that gender plays in the subject of language use and relevance have been popular topics in the pragmatics, discourse analysis, and sociolinguistics research investigations. A major significance has been accredited to stereotypes that were gender-related that formed gradually and were reinforced by the society and mass media representations (Fairclough, 1995).

According to these researchers, the media highlights the socially acceptable notions of masculinity and feminism by for instance depicting women as mothers and wives that are always talking about family and households while the men as breadwinners and qualified professionals that always talk about jobs and the workplace. Information addressed to males in the media are usually analytical, factual, and straight to the point while that addressed to the females are usually sensitive and idyllic novelization of events (Caldas-Coulthard, 1992).

Connel (2001) on the other hand, in an attempt to illustrate the contemporary concepts of femininity and masculinity, outlines the dimensions of gender stereotyping in mass media. From they communicate, the males are depicted as risky and fearless individuals that find pleasure in adrenalin driven activities like hardsports and drunk driving. The women, on the other hand, are attributed to the complete opposite features like domesticity, deviancy, and vulnerability, powerless, and emotional just to name a few. When it comes to factors that characterize female and male discourse, the idea of ‘ male bonding’ and the socially constructed stereotype of ‘ women are ladies’ are generated and these bring about the alienation of women in the society and eventually incites the hypercorrectness of female discourse (Lakoff, 2015).


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