In this review, I will be evaluating how useful certain sources were and what types of sources I have used. I will be discussing the strengths and weaknesses of sources and explain how its going to help me produce my specialist study report. After I have conducted all of my research, my hypothesis is that most media sources portray women in an unrealistic light which causes women and especially young girls to want to become this unrealistic image, which is not possible. This will help me when writing my essay which is about how the media portrays women.
I have used a variety of academic and cultural sources to contribute to my research, one of the academic one being books. I researched books from Understanding Women’s Magazines (Anna Gough-Yates, 2001). This book talks about the changing landscape of women’s magazines, but I found some very useful quotes about how women’s magazines i.e. the media portray women. I found that this was a reliable book because it had some very truthful and useful information. However, it is from 2001 and therefore could be slightly outdated as magazines are rapidly changing in terms of content. Nevertheless, I found that the information was valid for what I was trying to find out.
One of the cultural sources that I have used is a blog. This blog was all about the portrayal of of women in the media and consequently was very useful to what I wanted to find out. The fact that this source is someone’s opinion means it has strengths and weaknesses, a strength being that the blog proves that this subject is an issue, which is why people are writing about it. A weakness is that it may not be as reliable because its only one persons thought on the subject.
Another cultural source I have used is the news. I have found a news article on The Independent on 30th December 2016, headlining “Sexist slant in media representation of women ‘needs to change’”. This is a very reliable source because its dated less than a month ago. Its also a very strong piece of evidence for my research because the fact that its made the news proves that the representation of women is a big issue that people all over the UK are recognizing.
Another book that I researched was Media and Society Critical Perspectives (Graeme Burton, 2003). This mainly summarised how we understand the interaction between media and society. I found a few useful quotes in this book about how women and portrayed and even some about how men are portrayed which was useful to compare with. This was a useful source to me because I found some good information that I have contributed towards my research. However, again the book is quite outdated due to how fast the media develops and changes so may not be 100% reliable. Nevertheless, even though the book is from 2003, it does give me an indication of what the representation of women was like back then.
Overall, I found some very useful and interesting information that I can use in my essay. I think that the all the sources that I have used are all reliable in different ways and all have strengths and weaknesses. However, generally I think that the news article that I have researched was the most useful source because this source speaks for a very large range of people, and they wouldn’t be publishing it if very few people didn’t have these opinions.
- Burton, G. (2004) Media and society: Critical perspectives. Maidenhead: Open University Press, Page132
- Hackman, R. (2016) Are you beach body ready? Controversial weight loss ad sparks varied reactions. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/27/beach-body-ready-america-weight-loss-ad-instagram (Accessed: 3 February 2017).
- Valderrama, B. (2017) How woman are portrayed in the media (with images) · bvalderrama. Available at: https://storify.com/bvalderrama/how-woman-are-portrayed-in-the-media (Accessed: 3 February 2017).
- Susan Larson (2008) Dreamworlds 3: Desire, sex & power in music video. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDMo5cIJN3A (Accessed: 3 February 2017).
- Archiv časopisu maxim – ročník 2010 (2011) Available at: http://www.periodik.cz/predplatne/casopis.php?akce=archiv&titul=52&rok=2010(Accessed: 3 February 2017).
- Stewart, P. (2017) The positive influence magazines have on people. Available at: http://penandthepad.com/positive-influence-magazines-people-8191515.html(Accessed: 8 February 2017).