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Is Media Power Increasing or Decreasing - Essay Example

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Is Media Power Increasing or Decreasing

With the traditional position of the media as an immensely powerful object in the society appreciated and accepted, an issue arises on whether such power is increasing or decreasing. As people gravitate towards liberalism and independence, the influence that the media has on society is now in question. The study aims to establish whether the media power is increasing or decreasing. The selected strategy to do this is through an analysis of hegemonic discourses of gender and race through the use of two media examples. These are the genre of hip hop and the film. The guiding thesis for this study is that the power of the media is still increasing albeit not always along the traditional ways. Hegemonic Discourses of Gender in Hip Hop Hegemony in gender usually follows a pattern in which men indirectly dominate women in society. Through discourses perpetrated through various ways especially in the media, such positions appear ingrained in the society and unquestionable. Douglas (2006, pp. 13-20) explores the issue of hegemony arguing that there is meaning, context and representation of various sociological aspects with most of these being used to perpetrate hegemony. Dyer (in Durham and Kellner 2006, p. 353) discusses the establishment of stereotypes in detail and explains that stereotypic images portrayed in media forms are widely believed and agreed upon as being right. As Douglas (2006, p. 15) states, analysis of hegemony involves historical socio-cultural inquiries into how culture and various social institutions from the media have been used to facilitate domination on rather broad social and political ends. Thus, in order to determine whether the media’s power is increasing or decreasing, this discussion shall seek to establish hip hop’s perpetration of gender hegemony and the counter-efforts to break these hegemonic discourses based on a time series analysis. The hip hop genre is known to perpetrate gender hegemony and misogyny and has, in fact, come under heavy criticism for this in the past (Weitzer and Kubrin 2009, pp. 3-29). Perpetration of gender hegemony in hip hop involves using lyrics and videos to portray women as sex objects, trivialising them, marginalising them and using derogative terms to refer to them. Some explore themes of gender violence. However, there are a limited number of hip hop songs portraying females in respectful and positive ways (Yocum 2010, pp. 2-6). The underlying explanations generated for such actions include hegemonic masculinity that subordinates and objectifies women in the general society and pressure from music executives to make provocatively themed songs to maximise sales. There is also the issue of the male gaze where due to dominance the predomination of men in the genre most of the themes about women will be generated from a male point of view. It is widely appreciated that music has the capacity to influence listeners, develop and maintain how individuals view the world around them. To establish whether the hegemonic discourse of gender as perpetrated by hip hop is on the rise or not, it is crucial to explore the genre’s recent timeline. This is gradually bringing it to what can be currently observed and finally the future direction in terms of the portrayal of women. Weitzer and Kubrin (2009, pp. 4) observe that throughout the timeline of hip hop there has been hot debates and condemnation from women groups and other interest parties. The two authors further observe that although gender stereotypes have ...Show more


Is Media Power Increasing or Decreasing? Discussion Based on Gender Portrayal in Hip Hop and Race Portrayal in News Introduction According to Hibbert (2006, p. 4), the media occupies a central position in very many issues in life, standing between people and the world…
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