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Lecture 8

Lecture Eighteen: Representation and Inequality in Mass

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McMaster University
David Young

Representation and Inequality in Mass Media: The Representation of Women in Media Content November 11, 2013 – November 21, 2013 Under-Representation of Women • News Media o The Global Media Monitoring Project (2010)  Study representative samples of news stories presented by newspapers, television and radio stations, and internet news sites across 108 countries over 15 years o Found that women accounted for only 24% of news subjects  By news subjects, they mean the people who are interviewed in the news or the people the news is about o Found that the comparable figure for Canada alone was 30% • Entertainment Media o In 1992, the Canadian feminist organization Media Watch (National Watch on Images of Women in the Media) found that only 34% of the characters in Canadian television dramas were women o In 2001, the Screen Actors Guild (the trade union that represents many film and television actors in the United States) reported that only 38% of the roles in American film productions and prime-time television productions in 1999 went to women • Four forms of misrepresentation of women in media content 1. Domestication  Domestication: involves showing women in relation to domestic situations • Presenting women as housewives and mothers • This often reflects traditional gender roles • Notions such as the idea that women or females should be submissive or notions which suggest that women are nurturing • Representation of women to be nurturing and submissive – reflects traditional gender roles  Domestication is problematic because it denies the complexity of women’s lives
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