Media Representation of Gender Roles

1954 Words8 Pages
Historically, social and feminist scholars have focused on media representations of gender roles and how they affect the lived experiences of women (Green, 2013; Soulliere, 2006). Gender is widely considered to be a cultural rather than strictly biological creation, and it is often constructed and represented through popular culture media such as advertisements, magazines, and television (Soulliere, 2006). While women have made great strides in expanding the culturally acceptable definition of femininity (or femininities), masculinity continues to be narrowly defined and policed by society (Soulliere, 2006; Tragos, 2009). This evidence of asymmetrical change in popular culture gender role portrayals suggests that more effort should be given to examining the representation of men and masculinities in media, and its influence on the lived experience of men.
Media is responsible for disseminating many messages about gender via gendered presentations, and plays a key role in perpetuating a dominant hegemonic masculinity, all while discouraging alternative masculinities (Soulliere, 2006). The dominant hegemonic masculinity reflects the cultural ideal and normative definition of manhood in North American society, and is often characterized and conceptualized by violence, aggression, emotional restraint, toughness, risk-taking, physical strength, power, competitiveness, and achievement (Soulliere, 2006). Media representations of gender in North American both reflect the dominant
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