The standardizing idea of masculinity and femininity is molded and
reflected by American popular culture. The two-gender structure - masculinity and femininity - is convivially engendered and is culturally dependent. It consists of categorical acceded-upon codes, where society's members learn how to exhibit these "codes." This essay aims to reflect on the documentary The Codes of Gender: Identity and Performance in Pop Culture, which applies the late sociologist Erving Goffman's central claim that our bodies' portrayal in media advertisements communicates normative ideas of masculinity and femininity. Briefly, I will discuss how gender codes in advertising and different media impact how we interact and perceive others, in addition to the various ways that race and class codes impact our perceptions and interactions with one another. Consequently, I will present how the sociological perspective can be implemented to reveal these codes' implications in advertising and other media.
Gender codes are the signals that individuals manifest externally, indicating their sexuality or relative masculinity or femininity. Gender codes refer to perceptions, behavior, and beliefs that our society finds ideal for men and women. The way we interact and view people in our lives is affected by the gender codes we see in advertising and other media sources daily. When interacting with others, we often conform to stereotypical gender display, a process where we perform the roles expected of us by social agreement. Gender display is exhibited heavily in advertisements through gender codes. According to Goffman, gender display presents a power imbalance between men and women.
An example includes society's perception that men are 'powerful, active, strong, and dominant,' while women are 'passive, sexual, powerless, weak, and delicate.' Advertisements display this perception of women in multiple ways, one of which is implied by female hands. Females' hands are often portrayed in photographs as powerless by positioning the hands in a resting manner or often grasping an object by the fingertips, but never in a secure, firm grip. This display signals women as being controlled by their environment. In contrast, male hands' positioning is often staged to look powerful and robust, implying a manipulation or control of their environment and molding it into their desires with a firm grip. Something so simple as this significantly impacts how women see themselves in comparison to men. Gender codes undoubtedly shape my social interactions with others in a two-way fashion. For instance, I sometimes feel that men view me as less dominant and potentially less intelligent than other men. Consequently, I often feel the need to sound smarter when conversing with men due to this gendered stereotype of men being dominant over women that advertisements frequently communicate. This is just one example of how their gendered codes illustrated in the media have significant consequences on individuals' self-perception and interactions with others, especially with individuals of the opposite gender.
Although gender codes influence our social interactions, other codes, including race and socioeconomic status, also powerfully shape individuals' social interactions. The sociology theory of class conflict by Karl Marx can explain class codes. Class conflict by Karl Marx is a class code because it describes how the rich and poor associate, interact, and see each other within the social order. In this regard, Marx noted that both the bourgeoisie and the working class are two distinct classes that share some common interests and define them. The class conflict emerges because there are collective interests which lead to differences that cause them to see the other faction as a threat. Although I would prefer not to disclose this information, class codes influence my attitudes and behaviors towards others and how I perceive others. My family and I are what Karl Marx calls the proletariat or the lower class, and the bourgeoisie is the middle class in which I aspire to become a member of this group one day. I have and continue to put on a facade when in the presence of someone in the upper class. For example, I dated this boy for a few months and knew that his family was extremely wealthy. When asked to meet his family, I bought a whole new outfit, watched Youtube videos of dinner table etiquette, and felt that I needed to modify my life story to appear more accomplished. I changed my behavior because I believe that individuals of high socioeconomic status are more refined in their tastes and lifestyle. Additionally, I feared that they would disapprove of me dating their son if they knew that I was not of the same socioeconomic status. This example illustrates how codes exist beyond the realm of gender, and other relevant sociodemographic codes influence my interactions with others.
Forming impressions of others continuously occurs and happens both consciously or unconsciously. Additionally, impressions are frequently made with little information obtained.. Nonetheless, during interactions, individuals communicate through their words, body language, and behaviors.. The way people interpret and how people deport around us is affected by gender codes in commercial realism and other media. Goffman mentions the ritualization of subordination in commercial realism, which refers to how the female body's presentation in advertising reflects broader cultural definitions of femininity as sexual, passive, and powerless. For example, Goffman asserts that female bodies are often shown in a "benignness of the surround" position. Women are lying down as if they are being passed, demonstrating complete vulnerability and exposure. It is a submissive and powerless position utterly dependent on the world being risk and danger-free, and Goffman's point is relatively simple; this is a posture that communicates submission and powerlessness. Goffman's notion on how women are presented in the media reflect society's current macrostructure; where women are viewed as submissive and vulnerable. The effect of gender codes extending into one's microstructure is also pervasive. For instance, In grade 12, I was placed in a scary situation at a party with my friends, and we were steered towards a corner in a room by men, and they attempted to make sexual gestures towards us. The men likely had approached us because they viewed us as a passive, submissive target due to commercial realism and women's perpetual presentation in the media.
As a white woman, the gender code asserting that women are submissive does not align with my sociological perspective. While advertisements and the media occasionally illustrate women as vulnerable, many prominent female figures in the media are dominant and powerful. Malala, the woman who stood up for her beliefs and faced severe consequences, is an excellent example of media showcasing a dominant, influential female figure. Dominant women are not just presented in the media; within the social background, I have encountered many women who defy the gender code's conception of women being powerless, submissive, and vulnerable. I've also experienced powerful women in my microstructure, such as my friend left an abusive boyfriend who took eminence power to do so. Subsequently, the notion that women are vulnerable, as depicted by societal gender codes, is erroneous because various examples illustrate women as dominant.
In conclusion, gender codes in society implicate men as active, strong, powerful, and women as submissive, weak, and powerless. Goffman analyzes the media to substantiate these claims further. However, other codes beyond gender exist, such as class codes demonstrated by Karls Marx's class conflict. While gender codes suggest women as submissive individuals, my experiences do not align with these ideas, like my friend, who fought domestic abuse.
This is my essay can you please check it for plagrism and if there is any can you please change it theres no plagrism?
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