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Portrayal and influence on families in the media

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Olivia P.

on 15 December 2014

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Transcript of Portrayal and influence on families in the media

Portrayal and influence on families in the media
-The media wants to reflect how families really are in society today, however, our population is so diverse with a wide range of all different kinds of families

-This can make it hard to portray an accurate idea of a Canadian family

-In each family many things differ such as the format, relationships
between family members, and whether they are divorced

-From a young age the media begins to influence us and change our perception of family and morals

-The ideal version of a family has greatly changed over the years due to television

Format of Family throughout the eras
-During the 1950-60's nuclear families were the most popular structure type of family influencing people to get married and have a smaller amount of children living in their own house. Many people around this time thought the ideal family structure was nuclear

-These family members had little amounts of conflict that was easily resolved and conforming behaviour.Families talked and interacted with each other. While parents were a big influence on helping their children through the transition to adulthood. In this era families were very close and had very strong opinions on gender roles, the mother is to be nurturing, father to provide and children to be good and polite to the parents.

- The 1970's saw more conflicted relationships between family members, more sentimental, shown in television shows such as “The Brady bunch” . This could have helped families come closer together and work together to solve problems.

-In the 1980's soap operas seemed most popular due to the number of extended families, however near the end of the decade a more lighthearted view of families started becoming popular. This was evident in shows such as “The Simpsons” which showed light arguments, family conflict that was always resolved and showing that they are a team and helping each other out

- The 1990's focused on psychological health and the well being of others amongst family members in shows such as home improvement.
Gender Roles in the media
-It is said that children who watch more television than the recommended amount have a more idealized and defying role between genders, this meaning that they believe the men should be in charge of the house hold, earn the family income or the majority of it and women should be the ones who are more caring, cook, clean and stay home and look after the children

- The National Institute of Mental Health has determined gender roles commonly seen on tv:

1) In male-female interaction, men are usually more dominant.
2) Men on television are rational, ambitious, smart, competitive,
powerful, stable, violent, and tolerant, while women are sensitive,
romantic, attractive, happy, warm, sociable, peaceful, fair,
submissive, and timid.
3) For men, the emphasis is on strength, performance, and skill;
for women, it is on attractiveness and desirability.
4) Marriage and family are not important to television’s men. One
study found that for nearly half the men, it wasn’t possible to tell if
they were married, a fact that was true for only 11% of the women
(National Institute of Mental Health as cited in Lauer & Lauer, 1994, p. 73).

-The lack of gender equality depict that women and girls are not as important as men to many people and children. This is very dangerous to both genders, girls and women by lowering self esteem and body image, but also allowing men and boys to think that women are in fact not as important and treat them poorly.

Gender roles in the media con't
-Most women shown on nighttime television are thin, representing beauty instead of brains, they are also under the age of 35 or over the age of 50. They do not show many middle age women. Women are also placed in roles where beauty is much more important than how smart they are. They are to be depicted as fragile, helpless and emotional.

-Men are twice as likely as women to be shown as able to solve problems

-Gender stereotypes on television show women as sex objects much more then men, and the men are shown as useless when needed to look after infants and children

-In commercials for children’s programs, boys are shown more frequently and in active roles; girls’ behavior is much more likely to be passive. Advertisers indicate male models generate more product sales to children of both boys and girls than female models.

-It has also been suggested girls watch male-dominated
programs and commercials because there are fewer options for them
Electronics affecting Families
-The media and television is becoming like a family ritual to some where families share a favourite show together or siblings bond over playing video games. In the USA 63% of families eat dinner while watching television while 53% have no rules about tv use.(Nielsons television audience use report 2009)

- Parents need to be aware of the shows, movies and video games their child is viewing. Time magazine took a poll on the influence of video games and young children. It is estimated that 90% of children in the united states play video games however over 90% of these games either have mature content or are violent

-In 2013 Barack Obama called for more research on the effect of these types of video games on young children. Allegedly some brain imaging studies also show that exposure to violent video games at a young age can temporarily change the brain and how they think

-“In the latest work to address the question, scientists led by Craig Anderson, director of the centre for the study of violence at Iowa State University, found hints that violent
video games may set kids up to react in more hostile and violent ways.”
Time magazine on “Violent video games influencing children” 2014.
This can cause a negative aspect for families and future generations.
Image of Family
-Images of family life itself may also be influenced. Heavy viewers tend to perceive being single as negative, express pro-family sentiments, and believe that families in real life show support and concern for each other.

-On the other hand, heavy soap opera viewers tend to overestimate the number of happy marriages, divorces, and extramarital affairs (Signorielli 1990).

-In all, these studies suggest that media portrayals reflect and reinforce views about the nature of the family in society. Changing social norms and television portrayals mean that assessing the impact of portrayals must be an ongoing effort.
Works Cited
"Television and Family."International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family. (2003) Retrieved, from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2- 3406900427.html

Television and Family - The Portrayal Of Family On Television.
(2014) Retrieved, from JRank Articles: http://family.jrank.org/pages/1680/Television- Family-Portrayal-Family-on- Television.html#ixzz3G3kpa0mR.

Johansen, E. (2012). The Portrayals of Family in Advertising: Children's Perspectives. Retrieved, from http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgiarticle1038&cont

Signorielli, n. (1990). a sourcebook on children and television. westport, greenwood press.

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults. (2010, April 9). Retrieved November 12, 2014. http://www.parentsareimportant.com/2010/04/influence-of- media-on-family.html

Park, A. (2014, March 24). Violent video games: They may make kids think in more aggressive ways. Retrieved November 12, 2014. http://time.com/34075/how- violent-video-games-change-kids-attitudes-about-aggression/

Sember, B. (n.d.). Divorce and the Media. Retrieved November 12, 2014, from http://www.pregnancy.org/article/divorce-and-media
The ideal version of the American family has greatly changed in history.
- Families and people used to strive to attain a family like the ones portrayed in television shows
- It was greatly different in each decade whether that be how they treated each other or the type of family that it was.
-What people wanted to attain was impossible, it is understandable that they wanted the best for their family but these representatives were not accurate but definitely shows how far we have come throughout the years.
-The media has also influenced young children through video games with mature rated content and violence, this is not good for their development. More parents need to be informed about this and the media needs to have an age restriction on things like this.
-The media can also influence divorce, whether it be through social media apps such as face book or scaring young children with things seen in gossip magazines and movies. Parents need to look out for their children's well being and be careful
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