final paper example

final paper example - The purpose of this essay is to...

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The purpose of this essay is to illustrate how various forms of media construct the masculine gender role. A gender role is described generally as “the behaviors and attitudes that a society considers proper for its males and females” (Think, 2009). This essay will show how particular forms of media such as advertising, video games, and magazines attempt to construct specific masculine gender roles relating to sexuality, body image, and behavior. It is significant to examine the media as an agent of socialization, or a medium through which the values, norms, and expectations of society are transmitted (Eitzen, Baca-Zinn, Smith, 2010), because of its pervasive omnipresence in our modern society. The media comes in many forms: books, magazines, video games, television, internet, advertisements, and even products themselves. It is nearly impossible to functionally exist in modern western society without interacting with some form of media. The messages transmitted by media outlets are also significant in that “they have the power and scope to foreground culturally accepted social relations, define sexual norms, and provide ‘common sense’ understandings about male identity for a contemporary society” (Feasey, 2009). A masculine gender role is not limited to any one characteristic or behavior; it consists of multiple ways in which ‘maleness’ can manifest itself (Feasey, 2009). One of the recurrent themes within the masculine gender role is that of sexuality. The masculine role of sexuality is most generally derives from “the fear of being seen as sissy, feminine, or anything less than a man” (Alexander, 2003). This is consistent with the conceptualization of homophobia as the fear of contradictory gender roles (Schaefer, 2009). It is clear that a necessary characteristic of socially accepted masculinity is the adherence to heterosexual values, norms, and behaviors. Portraying the masculine image of sexual norms is exemplified by Rebecca Feasey’s case study of advertisements depicting Lynx grooming products. Lynx is the European equivalent of AXE
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fragrance products in the United States, both of which are commonly associated with maleness and sexual potency (Feasey, 2009). It is apparent from her findings that the entire premise of the advertisements for this product is built on a heterosexual norm. Each of the advertisements, in one form or another, “all present a slim, lightly-muscled, young, white, virile man in a leisure environment using the product in question in order to lure an attractive member of the opposite sex” (Feasey, 2009). That is to suggest the masculine role involves being the object of desire of the opposite sex. The consistent portrayal of this sexual interaction between men and women seeks to reinforce the heterosexual norm, which further distinguishes masculine and feminine
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This note was uploaded on 05/21/2011 for the course SOC 101 taught by Professor Macaluso during the Spring '11 term at Grand Valley State.

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final paper example - The purpose of this essay is to...

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