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MDSA01H3 Chapter Notes -Sexual Identity, Social Influence, Essentialism

Media Studies
Course Code
Ted Petit

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Media CH.8 Female Analysis
- Feminism is a political project that explores the diverse ways men and women are socially
empowered or disempowered
- Sexism is discrimination based upon a person’s gender, instead of targeting individual men or
even men as a social group, feminism seeks to reveal and eradicate socially ingrained systems of
sexism that harm all individuals in some way
- Sexual identity refers to the innate biological differnation b.w men and women; anatomy,
reproduction and hormones
- Gender refers to culturally constructed differences between men and women; tastes, roles
and activities
- Essentialism the belief that gender distinctions are innate and natural
- Patriarchy is a system of power relations in which women’s interests are subordinated to
those of men e.g. women are seen as nurturers and essential for care giving jobs whereas men
hold dominant power as job holders
- Patriarchal systems empower men and disempower women by making constructed, gendered
power imbalances seem natural and innate
- Stereotype is a misleading and simplified representation of a particular social group
- Stereotypes are damaging because the gloss over the complex characterics that actually define a
social group and reduce its members to a few traits
- Socially powerful groups like men have greater access to media outlets as a function of their
privilege and this access allows them to represent their particular perspectives on other social
- Stereotypes persist in the media because they have enough truth to sound plausible w/o much
critical thought
- Stereotypes mimic reality by actually creating it
- Gendered stenotypes
- Female stereotypes
Limited control
- Male stereotypes
Social influence
- Active and passive
- Mainstream media represents as men by strength, and activity
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