Commercializing Gender Essay

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Everyday Practice

The everyday practice to be discussed in this paper is a common media pattern, particularly the perpetual characterization of specific gender roles in the media through the use of television commercials. To begin, for just about every product on the market there is an advertisement made to accompany it. Commercials are a common form of media, which are used for soliciting both products and services. They can be humorous, emotional, have a catchy jingle or an aesthetic appeal, or pretty much anything that would make them memorable. On the surface this type of advertising is useful, however, there is a negative side to this medium as well. While constantly being bombarded with must-have products and services,
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ii. Concept The concept that will be analyzed in connection to gender oriented commercials is gendering. The concept of gendering is derived from the term gender, which is a socially constructed idea of being male and female, or in other words, masculinity and femininity. Gender is more so about cultural and social characterizations of being masculine and feminine, rather than only taking into account the anatomical difference between men and women. Determining gender involves looking at cultural codes of conduct, attire, interests, career choice, social relations, and status within a family unit as well as physical appearance. For example, as was aforementioned, a typical idea of masculinity may be physical strength and height and a primary wage-earner position in the family unit. In addition, femininity is commonly associated with refined features, patience and being a home-maker. The question here is, where do these ideas of gender come from? Gendering is the process through which ideas of gender become the norm over and at any given time. According to social constructionist theory, ideas of gender may be affected by political and social changes, and may simply be determined by specific cultural norms and even the integration of different cultures together. Brock, Raby and Thomas

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