Sunday, January 21, 2007

Media And Gender

Media have been reflected of dominant values and work as an active agency aiming at reinforcing and strengthening dominant value structure. There is no doubt that mass media like TV, film, radio, newspapers and magazines mould opinion, thinking, attitudes and behavior. TV and films are more powerful and their reach and impact is greater than that of other media. All of these media have greater reach among men than women, but what catches the attention of the feminists and other concerned people is the unrealistic negative portrayal of women in these media.
The media select items for attention and provide ranking of what is and not important – in other words they 'set an agenda' for public opinion….The way the media choose theme, structure the dialogue and control the debate- a process which involves crucial omissions- is a major aspect of their influence. (R. Clairem, C.J. Daniel, 2003)
The media play a crucial role in all aspects of daily life. However, their influence is not limited to what we know. Media also affect how we learn about our world and interact with one another. That is, mass media are bound up with the process of social relations.
We live in a society that is saturated by mass media. While this may be obvious times of crisis such as the world Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, when hundreds of millions of people worldwide were engaged to their television sets, it is no less turn in ordinary time. For most of us printed news, film, radio, music television and the Internet are central parts of our daily lives. Understanding the relationship between media and society has become an important topic in various disciplines.
.To understands the media for citizen of twenty-first century provides a set of tools to help make sense of the dizzying arroyo of media related issues. The role of media in our individual lives in the context of social forces such as the economy politics, and technological development. Most of all want to understand the media and their impact on our society, we must consider the relationship between media and the social world.
Media play different roles in society. One reason why the media are often controversial is that different group expects the medial to play different and often incompatible roles. For audiences, the media can serve as entertainment and division as sources of information about the world beyond direct experience.
For media workers, the medial industry offers a job, with resulting income, prestige, and satisfaction as well as a place for the development of a professional identity. For media owners, the media are a source of profit and perhaps a source of political power. For society at large the media can be a way to transmit information and values and can serve as a check on the abuse of political and economic power.
The media can be analyzed according to feminist theories. Feminist has several faces and a considerable amount of literature has been recently produced by various feminist writers. There are different brands of feminism, it is possible to distinguish feminism analysis from other contemporary sociological perspective such as Neo-Marxism and post modernism.
Feminism focuses upon gender as the key factor, whereby social reality and mediated reality is structured for us and experienced by us. The early feminist researchers in media sociology concentrated on numbers that is the percentage and ratios of men and women appearing in the media.

The number of female characters and roles were added up and empire with work was undertaken in the 1970s. Whilst the work edited by Tuchman in (1978) was interesting in its examination of the way in which women were made invisible by media – the symbolic annihilation few analytical tools with which to produce a theoretical feminist critique.
The different strands of feminist work are undertaken by media researchers. It is accepted that there are three major dimensions within feminist through; liberal, radical and socialist. Although there are problem with these fairly arbitrary classifications use them as ideal types. It is a construction of the essential criteria of a phenomenon: a kind of yardstick, which is held against actual social reality to see how close it comes to the defining criteria.

Theoretical interpretation
Liberal feminism and the media
It does not question the power dimensions in society that maintain male superiority of status and female inferiority. Research into gender representation in the media has been mainly carried out by liberal feminists who have undertaken a great number of content analyses. Sex role stereotypes, prescription of sex, appropriate behavior, appearance, interest’s skills and self perceptions are at the core of liberal feminist media analyses.
The position of women and the media include the teaching of women’s studies, as part of courses for studies as part of courses for journalists and broadcasters, and disseminating to journalists and broadcasters about the nature and impact of gender stereotyping.
The liberal feminist position maintains that over time the media representation of women will catch up with their actual social position and the media will present a more accurate view. It is interesting to see that magazines for women have taken into account the working woman, and many of the glossy magazines have introduced the superwoman who adeptly juggles her family and her successful work life.

Radical feminism and the media
Radical Feminism analysis investigates the effect of patriarchy on women. Patriarchy is the system whereby all men directly or indirectly dominate all women. Women are encouraged to produce their own media products, essentially by setting up collective community organization. However thus far they have made few inroads into the male-
dominated media industries. There are notable exceptions, though, where women’s collectives have produced successful media products.

Socialist ( Marxist) feminism and the media.
The approach does not focus exclusively upon gender, but incorporates analysis of social class, ethnicity, sexual preference, age and disability into the discourse. Some analyses also privilege ideology as the focus of debate.
The media are generally perceived as ideological apparatuses that represent the essential rightness of capitalism as a social system; within this framework socialist feminists focus upon the ways in which gender is constructed through language and imagery.
In sum up, Obviously Media reflected the dominant values and work which have been greater reach among men than women. It also affects how we learn about our world and interact with one another. It can be analyzing according to sociological perspective. Sociology focus on social relationship highlights the tension between constraint and action in the media process. Although they are overlap, so there is difference between the discipline of mass communication and sociology. For media owners, the media are a source of profit and perhaps a source of political power. For society at large the media can be a way to transmit information and values and can check the abuse of political and economic power. However the Feminist focuses upon gender as the key factor, whereby social reality and mediated reality are structured and experienced. There are three major dimensions within feminist through such as liberal, radical and socialist. The different strands of feminist work are undertaken by media researchers.

Media and Gender in Nepalese Context
"Media is the medium through which we can make the masses aware as well as create pressure on policy makers". – A NGO activist.
Gender sensitivity of media may be seen in a various dimension such as positive projection of gender issues, gender sensitive presentation of language and general ideology. There has been much progress in women participation in media channels such as electronic media. And there has been a substantial progress in the media coverage of women's issues. This changes the attitude towards women by social consciousness for promoting them. They only accepted by the management in interviews for commercial gains. Women are use for promoting consumer products, thus propagating the capitalist image of women merely as consumers and reinforcing gender subordination in a new form. Media should reject advertisements degrading women. Most advertisements promote commodification of the human body. The more crucial gender issue is how they picture male and female in all their presentations. Media is the most important channel which play crucial role in forming consciousness, attitudes and behavior standards in the society.

We can see the gender participation in Newspaper. There are so many newspaper among them Nepal Samacharpattra is one where around 45 people are engaged in the works. Among them 3 are ladies and remaining are gents. These ladies are participated in soft work such as social institution, entertainment which is also known by passive news. These are in the post of senior assistance editor, assistance editor and reporter. Among 7 volunteers 4 are girls and 3 are boys and they are labored in free of cost for two month. On the other hand male have reporting, editing feature writing. Mostly male write the news related to politics and crime which is know as hard news. Male write the front page of the news paper. This shows that women are still in subordination position not only in private sector but also in public sector. Similarly in Kantipur daily news paper about 60-65 people are involve. Among them 3 are female job holder and remaining are gents. Here also female are send for soft news and male for hard news. This study shows that women are still backward. The subordination is still seen in practices.


Gender studies include male and female equal in public and private sphere. Many theory and put their own view on the gender. This study deal about the gender and media where is trying to show the position, role of male and female. In TV channel they use women for commercial gain and in newspaper women participation is rare and they are not in high post. Exceptional cases are there where rare woman is in high post even though she has no power of decision making. Head of the office and decision maker are male. This show the women are still in subordination position in private as well as public sphere.

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