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Unformatted text preview: Gender & Sexuality on Television 05/03/2008 17:03:00 Gender vs. Sex • Biology vs. culture • Gender is culturally specific • Gender is a negotiation • Programs are centrally involved in the social and cultural discourse of the moment Women, television and consumer culture • How audiences understand television programs • How TV defines femininity and female desire o While TV attempts to attract female shoppers its definition of femininity works to exclude many women in the population Mainly geared towards middle-class heterosexual white women ← 1950s on TV: Focus on the Family • Television’s place within the home o Suburbanization – shift to family centered life. Fear of being alone, without family. o Cult of Domesticity – delineation of family roles o Clear gender roles – nuclear family, housewife, 2 children, dog, etc. Leave it to Beaver - ideal o Leisure/private vs. work/public o After 1940s when women were in workplace, they were forced back into housewife roles. TV big part of this domestic sitcom o Asexualized “mammy” black woman • I Love Lucy – CBS (1951-1957) o Unruly housewife always contained by the conclusion Best when she filled housewife role, end confirms this ← Change in perceptions of womanhood from the 1950s to the 1960s • While in the 1950s, television’s young housewives transgressed their assigned roles • The 1960s began offering more images of more independently-minded women • Invention of the birth control pill o Liberation of sexuality...
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- Spring '06