Mass Media And Its Impact On Gender Essay

1021 Words Aug 18th, 2015 5 Pages
While popular culture has often been thought of as a frivolous and superficial phenomenon, various scholars have highlighted the ways in which mass media can transmit and reinforce critical ideas about gender. Through films, advertisements, music, magazines and the internet, various images about the appropriate ways to perform masculinities and femininities are presented, perpetuated and preserved. Furthermore, in today’s age, where mass media is so easily accessible and prevalent, popular culture becomes one of the most critical sites where hegemonic ideas about gender are produced, represented and ultimately, consumed. However, audiences are not completely passive in their absorption of meanings and representations in media, and furthermore, people actively construct their own gendered identities. Critically though, due to the lack of diversity and the arbitrary nature of how gender norms are represented in mass media, often the ways in which people construct their gendered self is restricted to a narrow range of ideas and ultimately, constrained by taboo and fear of venturing outside of the gender norms presented in popular culture texts.

Historically, the term “popular culture” has been defined in relation to entertainment and that of “low culture”, and can be described as any “cultural product” that has a “mass audience” (Zeisler 2008:11). While popular has often been thought of as little more than a tool of amusement, recent scholars, such as Zeisler (2008),…

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