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WS 325 Social Learning Theory

Social Learning Theory and examples for "Portrayals of Gender and Sexualities in the Media" class.

Joel Geske

on 29 January 2013

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Transcript of WS 325 Social Learning Theory

SLT Popular singer Shikira performs "She Wolf" in this music video. These are moves typically seen by female performers in videos but also give "cues" to women about how to act and move. Paired side by side you can see the movements are quite accurate and yet in the male version they seem very odd. Now look at the same video, parodied by a male actor. Even tho he doesn't have a strong "masculine/muscular" build, just the fact that he is male changes how we perceive the movements. LYRICS: "It's a tale as old as time
There's no mountain we can't climb
When you're finally mine
and just a kiss away" The WOMEN on the
other hand have one primary
goal--to get the man. Note the use
of the sexy body and movements
throughout! Remember these are aimed at very young children. What are they learning about being a woman? In the world of Disney the leading
men are all tall, dark (in a caucasion
sort of way) rich and handsome.
Sex roles are clearly spelled out here! So what are the roles we are
teaching boys and girls about
how to be a man....how to be a
woman? Social Learning Theory
Originally proposed by Tarde says that social learning occurs through four main stages of imitation:
• close contact,
• imitation of superiors,
• understanding of concepts,
• role model behavior Social Learning indicates that children will observe and imitate important people around them. They will then respond to feedback. If feedback is negative “boys don’t act that way” or “that’s not very ladylike” it is more likely the behavior will be modified and if there is positive feedback the behavior will be reinforced. As we will see, media are one important source children (and adults) look to for role models. Bandura is one of the leading theorists for Social Learning Theory. Behavioral learning assumes that people's environment (surroundings) cause people to behave in certain ways. Cognitive learning presumes that psychological factors are important for influencing how one behaves. Social learning suggests a combination of environmental (social) and psychological factors influence behavior. Social learning theory outlines three requirements for people to learn and model behavior include attention: retention (remembering what one observed), reproduction (ability to reproduce the behavior), and motivation (good reason) to want to adopt the behavior. Social Learning Theory Images and behaviors surround us both as children and as adults....parents, media, religion, school, etc. We live in a social environment that varies from culture to culture and even within cultures. We learn from these images and behaviors and imitate them. If the feedback is positive we incorporate that behavior. If feedback is negative we try something else. What do the silhouette images on this page tell
us about being a man or woman? What assumptions do you make about the gender of each image?
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