S. E. A. R. C. Hing has been used in order to uncover social differences between different groups in society. Each letter stands for the different categories in which individuals may be socially advantages and disadvantaged. S stands for Sex In society men are usually at an advantage to women. Men get all the powerful jobs, which means they earn more money to buy more possessions to show- off their social status. However, in the media, women are becoming a lot more powerful. Decades ago women were in the media purely to promote products such as household items.
A popular one was an appliance such as the washing machine or vacuum cleaner. Women were portrayed in the media as housewives either cooking dinner for their husbands or cleaning the house. I got an example for the Internet. It is an advertisement from a woman’s magazine in the 1960’s. It shows a woman standing in a really messy kitchen smiling and writing something in a notepad. This advertisements conveys the idea that the woman in still happy and cheerful even in her chaotic, messy kitchen. These advertisements were the norm in magazines up until the 1970/80/90’s.
The portrayal of women in the media reflected the change of status of women in society. Women gained rights such as voting rights and entered the workforce. Main occupation for women however was teaching but this wouldn’t always be the case. In today’s society women are seen as much more powerful, sexual beings. In advertisements you hardly ever see a washing machine or vacuum cleaner present, nor is she ever in the kitchen. An advertisement that I came across in Cleo’s March issue in 2003 showed two women holding a stick with a man ‘hog tied’ to it.
The women were dressed all in black, looking very powerful. The man was looking really helpless and scared, something we would never have seen in the 1960’s. These two advertisements show how women were socially disadvantaged in the past but now are starting to gain importance in the media. However, there is conflict over how women exploit and use their bodies in the media to gain importance. Feminists believe that women are not empowering themselves in the media by doing this but only making themselves more vulnerable to men. As you can see, women still have a long way to go in the media.
E stands for Environment In the media, the environment is always portrayed positively. Print media often use animals such as puppies and chicks (toilet paper adverts) to convey a message. A stands for Age It is not a surprise that different age groups are treated differently in the media. For example, the majority of media based on youth are negative. This is evident in Current Affair shows and the News. Quite recently there has been huge coverage on the riots of teenagers at parties. Print media has been the main source of this information. Pryer (2004 p.
10) writes “… whether the next generation of adults is disrespectful and out of control. ” This article is labelling all youth as ‘out of control’ and ‘disrespectful’ which I believe as no more than a generalisation. Also, older generations are seen negatively in the media. R stands for Race People of different races are discriminated in the media. For example, after September 11th, Arabs and Muslims were all portrayed as terrorists in the media. In the March West Australian I found an article explaining how Arabic and Muslim people have been distorted by the media.
The article explores this claim saying that Arab men in particular have negative images, seen as threatening and dangerous. Black people are also often discriminated in the media, especially in film. I have found that people of dark skin have played negative roles in films. Criminals and murderers are often played by black people and can be portrayed so in News programs. Aboriginals are another example of discrimination of races in the media. Print media, such as the newspaper have a negative view of aboriginals. Asylum seekers usually of European blood are usually portrayed negatively in the Australian media, especially in the print media.
For example, a couple of years ago the media got hold of images of asylum seekers throwing their children over board a boat in protest for not being let into Australia. There was HUGE controversy over this because the media and the government especially distorted and manipulated these images so the Australian public would fear asylum seekers and not want to let them come to Australia. This is the norm in Australian media, often showing negative images of asylum seekers. I have found that the media plays on various negative stereotypes to sell a story or program.
I think that the media find that if they use a negative stereotype the public will find it more believable. For example: a story about an aboriginal breaking into a house would be more believable and in ways more interesting than a story about a white person breaking into a house. C stands for Class Society is made up of three different classes: upper class, middle class and lower class. Each of these classes is portrayed differently in the media. The media will usually portray people of wealth and power positively in the media while the lower class especially are portrayed negatively.
For example, in films the lower class is seen living in horrible conditions in small cramped houses (if they are living in a house at all). The upper classes are portrayed as glamorous, perfect and trouble-free which is not an accurate portrayal. H stands for Handicap People with disabilities or mental illnesses are portrayed negatively in the media. Films and televisions show people in mental institutes as crazy and dangerous which is not always true. Handicap people are sometimes portrayed as mean or grumpy. There are various portrayals of handicap people in the media, negative and positive. Reading Media Texts Journal Ellise Daniel.