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Media
has
significant role in our current culture, to make
norms and social unwritten rules by sharing information and giving
entertainment to vast audiences.Mass media has various tools such as
television, radio,billboards, programs,books and the Internet.
Internet is one of the fastest to reach and most developing one but
TV also has strong influence to audiences. Mass media also can be
tool to create a certain type of message in this way media can
manipulate people’s attitude and opinions and beliefs easily.
according
to a Canadian communication theorist Marshall McLuhan, it also
affects people’s lives by shaping their opinions, attitudes and
beliefs (1964).
I would like focus on this problem that how mass media can influence
stereotypes and gender roles in our daily life. I will also stress
that advertising used gender roles and stereotypes as a marketing and
satisfaction techniques.

Stereotypes
and
Gender
Roles

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People
learn
their
knowledge about
the world around them through their lives and they classify
received information in
this way they
can
create cognitive
scheme, that
is
representations of the our
worldview. Schemes
also used in social environment such as stereotypes that shows
opinions about other groups from among members of
certain
group. When we start to get know others socialization part comes
first then we start to internalize it during
the socialization process. They
are result of our own observations or we just learn from the others,
like family, friends, teachers and media. However generalization and
simplifies
are
really significant part of stereotype so that it can be subjective,
incomplete
and false image of reality. One of the sources of stereotypes is
tradition and have really strong relations with it. It is clear to
understand that its hard to change stereotypes just
because of the fact of tradition. Under the influence of
tradition,stereotypes can be positive and negative one and latter is
more common. Even if stereotype is negative and it is all world known
issue in this case people prefers to take it as an exception than
change the way of thinking. However social classified is another
problematic issue of stereotypes. American psychologist, Elliot
Aronson, said that stereotypes can be used identical features to each
member of a certain group without taking the existing differences
among the members into consideration (1972).

As
I mentioned in above stereotype can be negative effect in order to
understand that we can analyze gender roles in our modern society.
When
topic comes to gender roles, there is only one image in our eyes
which is that one strong working men and lovely stay-at-home women.
This image is totally patriarchy way of thinking but patriarchy
has been a dominant family model and still exists in some place in
all around the world. Men always have been thought to be strong,
independent, founder of family and earn money to take care of his
family however women have been represented as a mother who is taking
care of children, housewives and dependent one. When we grow up we
learn gender roles from our first teacher in home, our families. They
expect that behave like what fits to our traditional roles and whats
normal for them. If I would like to give an easy and clear example I
can say that pink is for girls easily. Therefore a boy learns it
girls go for pink and he should not go for it. Society works like
forcing him to not have any pink item at all.

However
we are developing and changing
our
world view so that our
family
model is becoming
more
partnership instead of patriarchy. There
is also another effect to change
family
model that women can find equal works as men can do. When women
start to earn money too they are getting more confident and find
right to talk about family issues in their own home. In this case we
have to thank to feminist movement that they are doing great things
for
women
and their rights. Feminist motto says that there should not
distinguish between man and woman. Feminism
is working hard and taking nations to further but still gender
inequality exists abut not so vast anymore.

On
the other hand mass media which is in every part of our life that is
still insisting to use gender roles and represent them as a
stereotypes.
We distinguish women and men roles by mass media and media does it
very well. Morley said that ‘The younger generations are especially
influenced by its depiction of gender roles. Even though television
has improved very well in its representation of gender, women are
still stereotype in conventional roles, and under-represented, while
men are revealed or seen as dominant figures’ (Lawrence, 2004, p.28).

Effects
of
Mass Media

I
would like to focus on effects of mass media in stereotypes and
gender roles. As I mentioned before media is fastest, reachable and
unavoidable. We are under the bombardment by media that such as a
commercials, newspapers, advertisements and so on. They are
everywhere and try to give a message like how we should be. Media
influence on our way of thinking by sending any message or idea. They
are capable
of impact on us whether small or big. These informations represent
female and male roles in
wrong
way. Katha Pollitt, American author, says that “boys
are central, girls are peripheral”, and that “girls exist only in
relation to boys” in her essay “The Smurfette Principle”. She
also claims that streotypical female figure should support by male.
She imagines gender roles in media as a train and females are like a
passenger in the train which is driving by male character. Media
teaches to boys girls are not that much important.

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