The Effects of Advretising and Media on Society

Topics: Gender role, Gender, Woman Pages: 6 (1858 words) Published: February 25, 2002
The Effects of Advertising and Media on Society

Advertising is an important social phenomenon. It both stimulates consumption, economic activity models, life-styles and a certain value orientation. Consumers are confronted with extensive daily doses of advertising in multiple media. With the continual attack of marketing media, it is presumable that it will affect our individualism and society as a whole. Consumer minds' can be changed, opinions molded.

Images of men influence the gender role attitudes that men express soon after exposure to the images. "Men view magazine advertisements containing images of men that varied in terms of how traditionally masculine versus neutral they were and whether the models were the same age or much older than the viewers. Men who had initially been less traditional espoused more traditional attitudes than any other group after exposure to traditionally masculine models, although they continued to approve relatively nontraditional views after exposure to neutral models." This suggests that nontraditional men's gender role attitudes may be rather unstable and susceptible to momentary influences such as those found in advertising.

Commercials are a way that gender roles are displayed in society. When you see a car commercial for a mechanic most of the time the mechanic is a man. But when you see a commercial about cleaning products for the house, normally a woman is the face you see. In other words, the media can help break the barriers on how gender roles are portrayed in society. The more that women represent strength on TV will also encourage them to build their self-confidence.

A person's environment has a big influence on the roles deemed accurately for men and women. Media also plays an important role in the socialization process for young and old people. Gender roles are as apparent in movies and TV sitcoms, as they are in commercials. For example, in the early days of TV, most sitcoms portrayed women as housewives that cooked and cleaned and men as the breadwinners(the worker that brought home the money to support the family). An example of this structure is the sitcom Leave It To Beaver. June Cleaver(the mother) stayed at home all times and never disciplined the children, where as Ward Cleaver (the father) was the dominant one who worked and disciplined the children. Today's TV sitcoms no longer abide by this structure. Take for example the sitcom, Who's The Boss. Angela was a successful businesswoman and provided for the family and Tony was the housekeeper. The gender roles were completely reversed in this situation; back in the 50s, a male in the house and a woman in the workforce was unheard of.

Gender roles can be a substantial issue in many movies. However, roles the characters take are mainly determined by the time period of the movie. For instance, the movie A League Of Their Own was set back in the 40s. A League of Their Own, is an awesome depiction, of how the All American Girls Professional Baseball League players, fought for the right to play, became victorious as a sport, and faced cruel jibes by feminists, and men alike. A League Of Their Own, also displayed how these women forged through for women of our time, pushing limits, and bursting the binds of a mans world. These women, were looked down upon, for doing something, that they just loved. They were treated as if they were scum, and not really women at all. It was as if they were a disgrace to woman kind, but instead they were revolutionaries, in a field that is not recognized, and forgotten.

"Careers in higher education are leading to the masculination of women. With enormously dangerous consequences to the home, the children, and our country. When our boys come home from war, what kind of girls will they be coming home to? And now the most disgusting example of this sexual confusion, Mr. Walter Harvey of Harvey Bars is presenting us with women's baseball. Right here...
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