The Effects of Advertising and Media on Society

Advertising is an important social phenomenon. It both stimulates consumption, economic activity models, life-styles and a certain value orientation. Consumers are confronted with extensive daily doses of advertising in multiple media. With the continual attack of marketing media, it is presumable that it will affect our individualism and society as a whole. Consumer minds’ can be changed, opinions molded. Images of men influence the gender role attitudes that men express soon after exposure to the images.

Men view magazine advertisements containing images of en that varied in terms of how traditionally masculine versus neutral they were and whether the models were the same age or much older than the viewers. Men who had initially been less traditional espoused more traditional attitudes than any other group after exposure to traditionally masculine models, although they continued to approve relatively nontraditional views after exposure to neutral models. ” This suggests that nontraditional men’s gender role attitudes may be rather unstable and susceptible to momentary influences such as those found in advertising.

Commercials are a way that gender roles are displayed in society. When you see a car commercial for a mechanic most of the time the mechanic is a man. But when you see a commercial about cleaning products for the house, normally a woman is the face you see. In other words, the media can help break the barriers on how gender roles are portrayed in society. The more that women represent strength on TV will also encourage them to build their self-confidence. A person’s environment has a big influence on the roles deemed accurately for men and women. Media also plays an important role in the socialization process or young and old people.

Gender roles are as apparent in movies and TV sitcoms, as they are in commercials. For example, in the early days of TV, most sitcoms portrayed women as housewives that cooked and cleaned and men as the breadwinners(the worker that brought home the money to support the family). An example of this structure is the sitcom Leave It To Beaver. June Cleaver(the mother) stayed at home all times and never disciplined the children, where as Ward Cleaver (the father) was the dominant one who worked and disciplined the children. Today’s TV sitcoms no longer abide by this structure.

Take for example the sitcom, Who’s The Boss. Angela was a successful businesswoman and provided for the family and Tony was the housekeeper. The gender roles were completely reversed in this situation; back in the 50s, a male in the house and a woman in the workforce was unheard of. Gender roles can be a substantial issue in many movies. However, roles the characters take are mainly determined by the time period of the movie. For instance, the movie A League Of Their Own was set back in the 40s. A League of Their Own, is an awesome depiction, of how the All American Girls Professional

Baseball League players, fought for the right to play, became victorious as a sport, and faced cruel jibes by feminists, and men alike. A League Of Their Own, also displayed how these women forged through for women of our time, pushing limits, and bursting the binds of a mans world. These women, were looked down upon, for doing something, that they just loved. They were treated as if they were scum, and not really women at all. It was as if they were a disgrace to woman kind, but instead they were revolutionaries, in a field that is not recognized, and forgotten.

Careers in higher education are leading to the masculination of women. With enormously dangerous consequences to the home, the children, and our country. When our boys come home from war, what kind of girls will they be coming home to? And now the most disgusting example of this sexual confusion, Mr. Walter Harvey of Harvey Bars is presenting us with women’s baseball. Right here in Chicago, young girls plucked from their families are gathered at Harvey Field to see which one of them can be the most asculine.

Mr. Harvey, like your candy bars, you’re completely nuts. ” Maida Gilespie (radio show social commentary from the movie) After seeing a documentary on HBO about the All American Girls Professional Baseball League, I understood more aspects of the movie. The players were obligated to attend charm and beauty school, keep their hair a specific length, wear make-up at all times(including during games), and they had to play in skirts. This was because, the attitude of the time was that, since the girls played, they were probably homosexuals.

They kept up an extreme female appearance to keep people convinced that they were heterosexuals. It helped them stay within their gender role. The book Our Guys, by Bernard Lefkowitz, was based on a true story. The book recalled a rape in Glen Ridge. A young retarded girl was raped by a set of star athletes(jocks). The jocks that were convicted in the case were raise with the notion that they were, “pure gold, every mother’s dream, every father’s pride” and they were put on a pedestal. They grew up being taught by fathers and coaches that they were all “winners”.

Its as if their fathers were living hrough them vicariously. Also, throughout their lives, they could pull off acting disruptively and inappropriately, including in classes. This includes masturbation. When relating this situation to media, similar issues arise in the movie Varsity Blues. “In America we have laws… laws against killing, laws against stealing… and as a member of American society you will live by these laws. In West Caynon, Texas there is another society… which has its own laws… Football is a way of life.

As a boy growing up in West Caynon, Texas, you never questioned the sanctity of football. You just listened to what the coaches said and tried as best as you could to win. Win at all costs. ” Jonathan Moxon (hero in movie) “You boys dragged ass out there”… “Save it dad. “… “Save it? Save what? You got the opportunity of a lifetime… “… “Playing football at West Caynon is not an opportunity of a lifetime. “… “Your attitude is wrong, your tone of voice is wrong.

This is your opportunity… “… “For you! Playing football at West Caynon may have been the opportunity of your lifetime. But I don’t want your life! ” conversation between Jonathan and his dad The movie, just as the book, showed many instances where the jocks were able to get away with stuff regular people wouldn’t be able to. In the movie, one of the players steals a police car and isn’t punished. Also, the players are allowed to drink alcohol underage, are given alcohol at a convient store(didn’t even have to pay), and is allowed to go to a strip club and drink while there.

Under normal circumstances, this would not be tolerated. These instances can’t be compared to rape, but the concept is the same as in the book. Another issue that came up in the movie was suicide. Due to the overwhelming demand for success by the team’s coach, the happiness of one of the players started to diminish and led to his attempted suicide. This just provides another illustration of how a society’s standards can cause harm to people. These instances can’t be compared to rape, but the concept is the same as in the book. There is one area of media that must not be forgotten. Music.

The music ndustry is one of the most powerful and most influential sources in our society. It provides us with insight into the world and allows the artists to express themselves freely. Music is everywhere you turn; on the radio, TV, in movies, and even in commercials. However, not all music brings across a positive message. Artists such as Marilyn Manson, Ozzy Osborne, and KISS have been known as controversial influences. Back in the 70s, many teenagers were forbidden to listen to the music of KISS. This was largely due to the connotation of their name. Knights In Satin’s Service.

Many mothers saw it as efying God and therefore prohibited their kids from listening to the band. A couple of years ago, an incident occurred at Columbine High School. Two kids, who were outsiders, started a shooting rampage on their fellow students. After the incident, it was reported that the two students listened to the music of Marilyn Manson. The community soon started to place part of the blame on the influence of his music. Advertisements also have the possibility to encourage both positive and negative effects on people, especially on women. In fact, most advertisements use women to promote the product.

Often, as Kilbourne shows us, food is related to women in advertisements. “In many of these commercials, the woman is not only rewarding herself, she is also coping with her disappointment at being unappreciated. Advertisers often offer food as a way to repress anger, resentment, and hurt feelings. ” “It is interesting that the ad includes so many ways that people escape from difficulties with relationships (shopping, sleeping, watching TV) and yet encourages one of the most common escape routes of all, overeating. Advertisers spend a lot of money on psychological research.

They know that many people, especially women, use food to help us deal with loneliness and disappointment and also a way to connect. ” Despite the over excessive use of food in ads, overeating is not the only eating disorder influenced by the media. In most ads, especially for cigarettes and beer, thin, beautiful women are used to promote the idea of “having a good time”, which helps endorse the product. Therefore, creating an insecure self image in the consumer. The consumer begins to exert feelings of insecurity in heir own physical appearance.

This can lead to eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia. Although, the media promotes this outlook on self image, it seems as if it tries to correct the “negative images” by making people aware of the dangers of them. They do this by creating after-school specials that expose the risks and dangers involved in eating disorders. Ironically, while writing this paper, I happened to view a program, “Mysteries and Scandals”, on the TV network E!. The program exposed the lives of popular actresses that died through drug and alcohol dependencies. The segment on Judy

Garland especially drew my attention. At the age of 16, while taping The Wizard of Oz, her drug addiction started. The producers required Judy to be thinner to play the part of Dorothy, so they demanded that she started taking diet pills(speed), to up her metabolism. Her drug and alcohol dependency only increased in the years to come, leading to the overdose that took her life. Advertising is an essential part of our society, as is the role of the media. They help us define and break gender roles. However, apparent or not, they effect our individualism and influence our lives.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *