Chapter 6: The Great Communicators: Language & the Media Sexism ad Language: What's in a Word? -Americans spend 26-33% of their leisure time watching TV -1600 hours of TV per year -the media serves as gender socializers -Language is a way of socializing -when a child learns the language of their culture they learn how to be a member of the culture too -male words = power, authority (governor, master) *positive connotation -female words = sexual connotations (governess, mistress) *negative -semantic derogation:meaning or connotation of words are debased over time -age and sex combine to derogatorily describe women in our society -linguistic sexism:way in which a language devalues members of one sex, oftentimes women -sets women's "place" in society or ignores them -men = Mr. (married/unmarried) Women = Mrs. or Miss -women even with doctorate more likely to be called Mrs. than Dr. -women's identity subsumed by husband's -women are unequally defined and thus reinforced as secondary to men in society Do women and Men Speak Different Languages? -women and men have different communication styles/goals (genderlects) -women speak with intimacy and connection -men speak with status and independence -for both: communication affected by sex of person talking to, context of conversation, status of speaker/listener -communication is interactive and affected by more than gender -men often do most of the talking; focus topics on what they introduce -most likely to hold attention of group -in coversation men stand closer and touch/stare at women -women avert their eyes and smile more (social and submissive) -in all female group: talk about more personal topis than males -acknowledge opinions, more engaged -any negative traits and consequences of conversations go with women because males can establish that misconception Gender and the Media -reflection hypothesis: media content mirrors the behaviors and relationships, values and norms most prevalent in society -media shapes cultures (what is and is not important) -symbolic annihilation: media ignore, trivialized, condemn women -fewer people reading newspapers because of television -women without time and financial resources do not read the newspaper -news gives the impression it is a "man's world" -1996 study: 15% of front page news related to women -women only 30% of new-hires for newspapers -still questionable if having more on newspaper staff decreases sexism/racism/homophobia -women's magazines promote a "cult of feminity"-- preoccupation with physical attractiveness and affaires of the heart **sex -goal is merely to keep the man- even if not for love -Cosmopolitan and Glamour = sex (few articles with finance/jobs etc.) -men's magazines concerned with sex too, but depersonalizes it -real man is free and adventurous; risk taker Television: the Ubiquitous Media Socializer -women watch more TV than men -adults watch more TV than children -common message on TV: men are more important than women -more men on prime-time television -women play more minor roles and are less authoritative -young and physically attractive -TV: women today are portrayed as stronger and independent while males are compassionate -since 1970s: more gender rights on television programs -80% + characters on prime-time television are white -advertisers play on sex desire to sell products -75% of commercials have male voice-overs -female voice-overs not authoritative or believable -sexual exploitative use of women in advertising has risen since 1970 -boys and girls 10-17 recognize the emphasis on physical attractiveness -gender depictions on television advertising may be understood as gender prescriptions by female viewers and can affect their real-life aspirations -unsure if violent viewing causes violent behavior -cathartic effect: viewing violence reduces violent drive -modeling effect: teaches violent behavior -children who watch less TV are less aggressive -susceptible because hard for them to distinguish real and fictional
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