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701 Paper Two - English 701Introduction to Academic...

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English 701—Introduction to Academic Discourse Professor Benzon Paper Two Topic: Gender Representations in Contemporary Culture Many of our readings in this section concern the influence and impact of media representations upon gender norms and expectations in contemporary culture. Marcia Lieberman, for example, writes that “Not only do children find out what happens to the various princes and princesses . . . of their favorite fairy tales, but they also learn behavioral and associational patterns, value systems, and how to predict the consequences of specific acts and circumstances.” For this assignment, I want you to survey an area of media culture in order to analyze how “representations” of masculinity and/or femininity in that area rely upon, dramatize, take for granted, or otherwise instruct mass audiences about gender norms. What gender norms and roles do these areas of media culture depict, and what do they say about these norms and roles? Try to be specific when selecting what kind of media you will discuss. A broad area like “television and film” will be hard to make a specific argument about. Instead, try to identify a more specific genre or type within a larger medium, so that you can say something specific about the representations of gender in that genre—for example, you might focus on action movies or “chick flicks” rather than on film overall. Or you might look at music videos for a certain kind of music (for example, hip-hop, dance pop, modern rock,
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