Today’s readings (which are found on Blackboard under the Assignment tab, NOT the textbook) not only continue our previous discussion of the media’s role in constructing gender norms but also go further to implicate the feminist and social justice movements’ task in bringing awareness to and possibly dismantling these skewed, limited representations.We’ll focus on the media reading today.
DeFrancisco and Palczewski’s Communicating Gender Diversity, reminds us how media shape the “social imagination” (p. 257) and that progressive representations are more likely to be found in alternative (read: less commercially risky) media forms. However, the authors then turn to statistics and examples in gender differences of internet use. Most tellingly, the authors conclude that new technologies replicate old gender norms grounded in women’s desires for communication as connectivity and men’s need for communication as information. Keep in mind that the studies are now almost ten years old. How do your experiences with new technologies and media forms compare? For example, do you notice gender differences in how you and your friends use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, TiVo, DVRs and so on?