The Representation Of Gender Within Film And Television Texts Essay

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The representation of gender within film and television texts is still that of out-dated stereotypes and rigid structures. Although many modern texts claim to be subverting these archetypal representations, they are still very prominent and do not seem to be leaving our screens anytime soon. In this essay I will discuss how the concept of genre impacts upon the representation of gender, specifically female, in film and television texts. In particular, how traditional stereotypes are used to aid the structure of genre and cater to audiences.
One of the most common approaches to genre within media studies is that of raising questions of interpretation by exploring textual meanings and situating them within larger contexts. (Mittell, J. 2001) To recognise a specific genre, one must be able to identify the different components that make for it, these are called generic conventions. For example, in a rom-com, there is always a clueless yet lovable female (in some cases, male) lead, mise-en-scene including attractive clothing and settings, shots of the couple, editing that favours the lead female and some kind of popular chart music in the soundtrack. These reoccurring and now traditional generic conventions are what make genres so reliable and easy to construct, placing them within larger contexts allows us to relate texts to everyday life and therefore create a more relevant and fathomable story.

The cultural construction of what it means to be male or female is

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