Media Representation of Gender

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Purpose: To argue how a particular media representation influences perceptions and behavior; to analyze the assumptions, causes, and the consequences of these representations

Introduction: As always, try to convince the reader why your research topic is important. Give some data to shock the reader or to get his or her attention. At the end of the introduction, present your arguable thesis that says something about the meaning of the representation, its consequences, its causes, and the solutions that can create the conditions of a more heterogeneous representation that negates the existing stereotypes.

Facts: In this section, you should analyze the primary sources that will allow you to make the argument. Think of at least four movies or TV shows (or music videos, or any other visual language such as fashion photography, for instance). Look for similarities, and narrow representations. Focus on the rhetorical techniques that are used to, for example, represent women in ads.

Consequences: In this section, you should help us understand how the decades-long repetition of reductive representations creates perceptions in the viewer’s mind that, later, influence his or her behavior, or that create cognitive biases that—precisely because they are unconscious biases—influence hiring practices, for instances. Give statistical data regarding stereotypes and try to connect the representations to what people believe.

Causes: In this section, you should tell us why we continue to create these narrow representations especially since these representations are so instrumental in affecting community, marriage, and economic activity. Ask yourself why others don’t see the devastating effects of these representations on most every aspect of our lives.

Solutions: In this section, you should point the direction toward some solutions. Be pragmatic, instead of engaging in clichéd recommendations.

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