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Transcript of Psychology 3
Bushra Javed Butt
Maliha Binte Zahid
Section: B May lead to Depression Eating Disorders Bulimia Nervosa Anorexia Nervosa Feelings of Shame Low Self Esteem
Examines the relationship between the media hyped body image, created by the fashion industry, among women using the sociology theories.
Discusses the gender discrimination brought about by media, using the feminist approach. WHAT IS MEDIA? Various means of communication e.g. T.V, radio etc.
Used as a tool for entertainment.
Highly influential. Functionalism Mass media affects Coordination, socialization, social control, entertainment- all of which make social order possible. It carries out only positive perception of social actions. Coordination, Socialization Entertainment Social control Criticism Conflict Theory Conflict theory was founded by Karl Marx, and later developed by theorists such as Max Weber.
The theory emphasizes the role of coercion and power, a person's or group's ability to exercise influence and control over others, which eventually lead to economic and social inequality.
It states that a society or organization functions in such a way that each individual participant and its groups struggle to maximize their benefits, which inevitably contributes to social change such as changes in politics and revolutions. Conflict Theory and Media Everywhere we see in the fashion industry, may it be in advertisements or the ramp, fashion magazines, music videos and in even sports, the ‘thin ideals’, a term used for women who are extremely thin, are over emphasized in a positive light. The women who are able to attain an ideal body through various methods or are naturally thin, make up the bourgeoisie class and the women, who do not fit into the ideal thin body image, form the proletariat class in the society. Females are affected by how people
perceive them in the society.
The media and the bourgeoisie class
have set standards of what an ideal
body image is and women perceive
Women who do not see themselves meeting these set standards then get emotionally distressed, have feelings of disappointment and dissatisfaction, eating disorders; bulimia and anorexia, feeling of shame, low self-esteem, depression, and social phobias.
Despite changes in history, the upper class
has managed to withhold the power to
change the ideal body image, oppressing
the lower class. In effect, the ideal body
image is socially constructed by the upper
class and projected through the media. Exposure to the media portrays
an ideology of thin women
being attractive and successful
which puts pressure on women, who
do not have that body image, to attain that certain
body image leading to negative effects.
It has been suggested that these images convey the message that the current tall, slim beauty ideal is necessary for happiness, success, and attractiveness.
However, since it is unattainable for
the great majority of girls, repeated
exposure to these images is
thought to result in body dissatisfaction. When women see the thin ideals
portrayed by the media, they
make a comparison between
themselves and the idealized
image, thus confirming the
importance of being lean, and
they do whatever they can to bridge
the gap and to attain the image they desire,
which is an Upward Comparison.
Downward Comparison results in elevation of moods as women make comparisons to others worse off than themselves. This is where the conflict theory strikes in. Furthermore, the media and the bourgeoisie class pushes the message on these women (the proletariat class) that one's value can be determined by how pretty one is or how much stuff one owns. This in turn fuels insecurities in these women causing them to become more dependent on the manufacturers who produce such goods which they need to feel happy and popular. Social and cultural factors that are important to examine that affect body image, such as: Socio-Cultural Factors Misconception About The Opposite Gender Preferences When women were asked to rate the female body type that males prefer, women often chose a body type that was substantially underweight. In contrast, when men were asked to choose the ideal body type of a woman, their choice was more often only slightly below normal weight Over the past twenty years there has been a decrease in weight among female, Playboy models and among Miss America contestants Mass media bridge social differences between average women and the thin ideal body and develop “to be a thin” as a standard of society. When women view the thin models they evaluate themselves with the perceived body weight, shape and size and relatively have more negative thoughts. (Loken & Peck, 2007).
One of the foremost proponents of interpretive approach in mass media emphasizes that people are not empty vessels into which the mass media pour a defined assortments of norms and behaviors concerning body image, drive for thinness, and disordered eating. Mass Media Effects on
Body Image and an Interpretive approach Some people let the media to exert its pressure on them while others do not. Those people don’t get influenced by things which media shows, see the world their way, and not as the media portrays.
People interpret and respond to media contents in very different ways. They filter and interpret mass media messages in the context of their own interests, experiences and values. Exposure to the media products According to Dixey (2001), women who read fashion magazines are more prone to eating disorders and Fay (1994) found that women compared themselves to models in advertisements which lead to ‘advertising-eating disorder’. There are studies that support the findings that people who watch fifteen hours or more of television weekly are likely to believe what they see on television as reality. Those people who let media to exert social forces on them are dependent on how much they consume and evaluate media products. The greater the consumption the greater will be the effects. The consumption is basically the exposure to the media products and evaluation is how people evaluate themselves by comparing themselves with the set standards. Evaluation People evaluate themselves by looking at images that they perceive to be attainable and reliable and subsequently make comparison among themselves and the idealized image. Women's bodily focus comes about through interactions with their friends, family, peer group, and the messages they receive from outside this close-knit circle (Stice, 1998).
In the interviews conducted by the participants it was
found that some participants compared their own bodies
to their sisters, hence sisters were cited as indirect influences. Family Influences on Body Image Furthermore, some participants also discussed how their father had encouraged then to lose weight, by stating “ideal image [of what women should look like]”. Feminism Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women.
Feminism seeks to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment.
A feminist is a "person whose beliefs and behaviour are based on feminism.” Feminist theory Feminist theory, which emerged from these feminist movements, aims to understand the nature of gender inequality by examining women's social roles and lived experience.
It has developed theories in a variety of disciplines in order to respond to issues such as the social construction of sex and gender.
Feminist campaigns have changed societies, by achieving women's suffrage, equal pay for women, reproductive rights for women and the right to enter into contracts and own property.
Feminists have worked to protect women and girls from domestic violence, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. Feminism is mainly focused on women's issues, but because feminism seeks gender equality, some feminists argue that men's liberation is a necessary part of feminism, and that men are also harmed by sexism and gender roles.
Feminist theory also focuses on the promotion of women's rights and interests. Themes explored in feminist theory include: discrimination, stereotyping, objectification (especially sexual objectification) and oppression. The 1950s and 60s featured women in gendered roles, submitting to their husbands and being a consummate homemaker. Women made up only 32% of all characters on television and were almost never shown outside a home setting.
Women are treated as different that men in most of these shows in terms of what roles they are given. Females on television are more concerned with sex and marriage.
They are also perceived as young beauties. While the men on television are also supposed to be good looking, it is more of a priority that the women be young and good-looking. Women representation in Media It is found that “it's the norm for men to talk more, give orders, solve problems, and run things”. Females rarely solve problems (they are more often the cause), and they are often ridiculed for making unacceptable suggestions.
In 1970s, feminist researchers focused on the representation of women in the mass media.
TV dramas women tended to be cast as housewives and secretariats and women appeared in domestic settings.
Men tended to be cast as professionals and authority figures and appeared in public settings.
Advertising targeted women only on purchasers of household products and appliances. Feminism and News Newsworthy issues were associated with men, and men were much more likely than women to be used as news sources and to deliver the news.
While watching the local news on television. Each segment features a woman anchor as well as a man anchor. Reporters are both male and female and the use of female meteorologists is on the rise.
However, the physical representation of women on the news isn't as alarming as their lack of representation in the news. As far as coverage of women and their issues goes, women are rather invisible. Gender Discrimination Women often work more than men, yet are paid less; gender discrimination affects girls and women throughout their lifetime; and women and girls are often are the ones that suffer the most poverty.
Representations of women across all media (advertising and magazines) are shown as young, slim, overwhelmingly white, ideal beauty and emotional.
Audience and media see these things as a narrow range of representations. Women are often represented as sex objects in the
Femininity like masculinity is a cultural idea not a
biological one. So it differs from culture to culture. The women’s representation in the media tend to revolve around the focus on physical beauty to the near-exclusion of other values, the lack of powerful female role models, and the extremely artificial nature of such portrayals.
These portrayals of women only serve to further ingrain in society the stereotypes of incompetent females who are in need of male help.
Other problems arise from the "superwoman" image. Shows are showing more and more women in the role of professional, she is still expected to be the model housekeeper and mother.
Sitcoms especially show professional moms keeping an immaculate house while raising beautiful children and going to work. This indicates that even though the woman is working as a breadwinner, she should still singlehandedly care for all things domestic. Misconception about the opposite gender's perception,
Mass media messages(an interpretive approach),
The nature of familial interaction feminist theory is in favor that media is creating gender discrimination among women.
Males have been always superior to females in every field it may be education, sports, career wise or in married life.
Women’s representation in the media.
Although, this approach has been changed but still many cultures doesn't accept such changes
women are still struggling to gain respect and status in our society. The Interpretive Approach is against the fact that media causes body dissatisfaction
Three different Socio-Cultural Factors that Affect Body Image
Mass media messages(an interpretive approach),
The nature of familial interaction Women have emotionally distressed, have feelings of disappointment and dissatisfaction, eating disorders and social phobias. Conflict theory is in favor, that media causes body dissatisfaction
The two classes; bourgeoisie and proletariats
negative effect on women`s life
Body dissatisfaction in adolescent girls
Social comparison theory Some people have positive effect of these factors while others might have negative effect.
Actually it depends on an individual how he/she interprets things and how he/she views the society which he/she belongs to. Conclusion Functionalism is one of the core perspectives of sociology
This theory talks about the positive aspects of society
It shows that everything in the world has a purpose
THIS theory is against the fact that media causes body dissatisfaction and gender discrimination amongst women. This all shows that how media has adversely affected the females These all standards and classes are created by us.
we make the society and we are the people who can bring change.