Sociological imagination is the ability to recognize the relationship between large-scale social forces and the actions of individuals. It includes both the capacity to see relationships between individual biographies and historical change, and the capacity to see how social causation operates in societies. The term “sociological imagination” was coined by the American sociologist C. Wright Mills in 1959 to describe the type of insight offered by the discipline of sociology. That being said Sociological Imagination can be applied to a variety of incommensurable social settings, one of them being Television.
Television habitually perpetuates gender stereotypes because it reflects dominant social values. In reflecting them TV also reinforces them, presenting them as natural. As one might expect in a society still dominated by men, men dominate TV production and, influenced by these stereotypes, unconsciously reproduce a traditional masculine perspective, perpetuating dominant gender stereotypes. Many narratives on TV are still implicitly designed to be interpreted from a masculine perspective. Viewers are frequently invited to identify with male characters and to objectify females.
Whatever its limitations as a TV research method, content analysis does at least provide us with basic data about the prevalence of gender images on TV. The number of women shown on TV is far smaller than the number of men shown. According to Daniel Chandler a teacher at University of Wales (UK), men outnumber women in general TV drama by 3 or 4 to 1. 70-85% of those on children’s TV are male, and in children’s cartoons, males outnumber females by 10 to 1. Even in soap operas women can be outnumbered 7:3. There are also more men than women in starring roles; the exceptions are notable only as exceptions. In contrast to this dominance of the screen by men, we all know that in the everyday world, women in fact slightly outnumber men. In this sense, TV does not reflect observable demographic realities, although it may well reflect the current distribution of power, and the values of those who hold it.
Imagination is the ability to imagine abstract things without having to understand them before. The ability to imagine something that does not necessarily exist in this complex world. Charles Wright Mills (1959: 11) coined up the term the sociological imagination. And in his book, The Sociological Imagination, he said that “this quality is the ability to use information and to develop reason in ...
A great example would me the film “Class Dismissed”. The film navigates the steady stream of narrow working class representations from American television’s beginnings to today’s sitcoms, reality shows, police dramas, and I believe daytime talk shows. The film also educates us on how race, gender, and sexuality intersect with class. Therefore showing us how the working class is all made up of hard working fathers. Class Dismissed analyzes Television very well to explain to the viewers how the masculinity is emphasized. Most sitcoms that the film uses portray men as the nagging, tired, and lazy figure but also the only hard worker in the household.
Almost throughout all of the TV shows that are on now we see that the social structure is built around men. When there is a woman somewhere high up on the social structure, there are others higher than her and most likely the role is played by a man. The statuses that I see are all achieved. I try to think somewhere on a show where there are ascribed statuses but I can’t seem to find any. The television has been doing a great job reinforcing the achieved statuses so far. Therefore, encouraging the viewers to reach their long term goal. Though there are some pros for Television, the cons keep on stacking.
Two chapters in the Henslin book really stand out to me. The first is Chapter 4 on “Social Structure”. This chapter talks about three different sociological views, Functionalist, Conflict, and Interactionist. Functionalists believe in analyzing society as a whole instead of person by person. The functionalists would say that Television is wrong because everything has to be equal and society needs to be portrayed as an equal.
The evidence suggests that social class originsethnicity and gender continue to have an influence on how well people do in educationthese factors appear to be more important than innate ability in effecting educational achievement. (Browne, 1998, Page 317) In this essay the writer shall be considering the ways in which, and the extent that, social class, gender and race influences a persons ...
Conflict view, also known as conflict theory, is the basis for Marxist ideology. According to Karl Marx, class friction begins when the upper class treats the poor and disenfranchised as a criminal, or deviant, class. This is what the television has been basing their ideology on. Although the Television has been treating the social classes somewhat wrong, it has not been as bad as the gender roles in Television.
Interactionist Theory deals with a person’s understanding of society based on individuals that they meet; according to the theory, a person’s perspective changes every time they interact with an individual, shaping and changing the opinions and views of both parties. Therefore adjusting to the fact that in real life there are a bunch of feminine figures that control some of the largest and successful corporations; one of them being EBay.
The second chapter is Henslin 8 on “Sex and Gender”. A good example is Gender stratification; it defines as a society’s unequal distribution of wealth, power and privilege between the two genders. In other words how it pretty much has been since the start of time and how it will continue to be for another couple of years unless someone does something about to change it. One thing really important that I almost forgot to mention is the huge global gap in education. Most women around the globe are uneducated causing violence against women.
As a result of the low education among women, men thinking that they are superior treat women like if they were nothing valuable. Therefore leading the Television to be unfair and misleading. One day a director will come up with something that portrays women to be the higher ups and it will hopefully trickle down to the point were at least some shows follow suit. The Interactionist theory will then be what the producers proclaim instead of the Conflict theory. Until then, all this gender stratification will keep on booming.
Gender Issues Related To Social-Conflict Approach Theory by [Students name] Sociology 1 Prof. Charles Levy June 03, 2008 Gender Issues Related To Social-Conflict Approach Theory Internet Explorer, AOL Browser Google, Ask, Altavista, Yahoo, Dogpile Introduction Understanding gender issues from a sociological perspective is very important. In the modern world, gender issues and gender roles are in ...
Chandler, Daniel. “Television and Gender Roles.” Aber.Ac.Uk. 11 November. 2010 <http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Modules/TF33120/gendertv.html>.