Final Draft - Alyssa Rose Professor Trager Art 109 Tu/Th...

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Alyssa Rose Professor Trager Art 109 Tu/Th 8am 21 April 2017 The Progression of the Female Role in Media “Of the many influences on how we view men and women, media are the most pervasive and one of the most powerful…all forms of [which] communicate images of the sexes [and] perpetuate unrealistic, stereotypical, and limiting perceptions” (Wood, Gendered Media ). Representations of gender in media leading up to the feminist movement of the 60’s, hinged on the traditional portrayal of man as the breadwinner and woman as his token wife, resulting in gender disparities and societal ignorance towards the progression of the female role. Second- wave feminism and the expansion of television’s popularity during the 70’s, gradually reproduced the social structure of society, resulting in the queering of gender roles and male/female presence in media. In order assess the veracity of society’s re-production since the 70’s, it is important to first understand the concepts of structuration and the construction of gender. Anthony Giddens’ Theory of Structuration, suggests that “human agency and social structure are in a relationship with each other, and it is the repetition of the acts of individual agents which reproduces the structure” (Gauntlett, Media, Gender and Identity ). The structure, as stated by Gauntlett, is in reference to the “invisible social forces” responsible for the creation of societal conventions and is composed of three complimentary components: signification, legitimation, and domination. Rose 1
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Signification refers to the semantics of language and the assignment of meaning through speech. Any language requires a strict set of guidelines to guarantee a mutual understanding between parties engaged in conversation. As John Berger states in Ways of Seeing , “We explain [the] world with words” and through words, society “establishes [its] place in the surrounding world”. Language, as a system of interaction, allows the development of relationships within society and permits individuals to form an interpretation of reality subject to manipulation. Media utilizes the power of language to influence the viewer, hoping to evoke an emotional response towards a specific object or situation. In television, an actor uses forms of cognitive and generative linguistics to perform his role; phonology, diction, and tone of voice are essential in this process. The way an actor speaks to his audience influences the viewers image of that role or character. The television show Sherlock , staring Benedict Cumberbatch, portrays an analytically aware private detective who can solve the most perplexing of tasks. Cumberbatch’s character has a large vocabulary insinuating intelligence, but the way he expresses those words renders him cocky and arrogant.
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