"Social media for sharing information and ideas"

Social media is the interaction among people in which they create, share or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as "a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content." Furthermore, social media depend on mobile and web-based technologies to create highly interactive platforms through which individuals and communities share, co-create, discuss, and modify user-generated content. They introduce substantial and pervasive changes to communication between organizations, communities, and individuals. 

Social media differ from traditional or industrial media in many ways, including quality, reach, frequency, usability, immediacy, and permanence. There are many effects that stem from internet usage. According to Nielsen, internet users continue to spend more time with social media sites than any other type of site. At the same time, the total time spent on social media in the U.S. across PC and mobile devices increased by 37 percent to 121 billion minutes in July 2012 compared to 88 billion minutes in July 2011. For content contributors, the benefits of participating in social media have gone beyond simply social sharing to building reputation and bringing in career opportunities and monetary income, as discussed in Tang, Gu, and Whinston (2012).
Geocities, created in 1994, was one of the first social media sites. The concept was for users to create their own websites, characterized by one of six "cities" that were known for certain characteristics.

Classification of social media

Social media technologies take on many different forms including magazines, Internet forums,weblogs, social blogs, microblogging, wikis, social networks, podcasts, photographs or pictures, video, rating and social bookmarking. Technologies include blogging, picture-sharing, vlogs, wall-posting, music-sharing, crowdsourcing and voice over IP, to name a few. Social network aggregation can integrate many of the platforms in use.
By applying a set of theories in the field of media research (social presence, media richness) and social processes (self-presentation, self-disclosure), Kaplan and Haenlein created a classification scheme in their Business Horizons (2010) article, with seven different types of social media:
1.      collaborative projects (e.g, Wikipedia)
2.      blogs and microblogs (e.g, Twitter)
3.      Social news networking sites (e.g, Digg and Leakernet)
4.      content communities (e.g, YouTube and DailyMotion)
5.      social networking sites (e.g, Facebook)
6.      virtual game-worlds (e.g., World of Warcraft)
7.      virtual social worlds (e.g. Second Life)
However, the boundaries between the different types have become increasingly blurred. For example, Shi, Rui and Whinston (2013) argue that Twitter, as a combination of broadcasting service and social network, classes as a "social broadcasting technology"


Using Social Media for News Purposes and its impact

Social media has disrupted the personal and commercial habits of Americans to a degree not seen since the early days of television. Just as television turned a nation of people who listened to media content into watchers of media content, the emergence of social media has created a nation of media content creators. According to 2011 Pew Research data, nearly 80% of American adults are online and nearly 60% of them use social networking sites. More Americans get their news, such as it is, via the Internet than from newspapers or radio, as well of three-fourths who say they hear of news from e-mail or social media sites updates, according to a new report published by CNN. The survey suggests that Facebook and Twitter make news a more participatory experience than before. On Facebook, people share links to news articles, share and post articles, and tweet them on Twitter in 140 characters or less. 75% got their news forwarded through e-mail or social media posts, while 37% admit they’ve shared a news item via Facebook or Twitter.

In the United States, people (81%) say they look online for news of the weather, first and foremost. National news at 73%, 52% for sports news, and 41% for entertainment or celebrity news. Based on this study, done for the Pew Center, two-thirds of the sample’s online news users were younger than 50, and 30% younger than 30. The survey was daily-tracking of 2,259 adults 18 or older. 33% YA get news from social networks, the day before. 34% watched TV news and 13% read print or digital content. 19% Americans got news from FB, Google+, or LinkedIn. 36% of those who get news from social network got it yesterday from survey. More than 36% of Twitter users use accounts to follow news organizations or journalists. 19% of users say they got information from news organizations of journalists. TV remains most popular source of news, but audience is aging (only 34% of young people). 29% of those younger that 25 say they got no news yesterday either digitally or traditional news platforms. Only 5% under 30 say they follow news about political figures and events in DC. Only 14% of responders could answer all four questions about which party controls the House, current unemployment rate, what nation Angela Merkel leads, and which presidential candidate favors taxing higher-income Americans. Facebook and Twitter now pathways to news, but are not replacements for traditional ones. 70% get social media news from friends and family on Facebook.
For children, using social media sites can help promote creativity, interaction, and learning. It can also help them with homework and class work. Moreover, social media enable them to stay connected with their peers, and help them to interact with each other. Some can get involved with developing fundraising campaigns and political events. However it can affect mental health of teens. Teens who use Facebook frequently and who especially susceptible may become more narcissistic, antisocial, and aggressive. Teens become strongly influenced by advertising, and it influences buying habits for the future. Since the creation of Facebook in 2004, it has become a distraction and a way to waste time for many users. Americans spend more time on FB than any other website in the United States. Based on a Nielsen study, the average American has spent more than 17 minutes per day on the social media site.
In a recent study conducted, high school students ages 18 and younger were examined in an effort to find their preference for receiving news. Based on interviews with 61 teenagers, conducted from December 2007 to February 2011, most of the teen participants reported reading print newspapers only “sometimes,” with fewer than 10% reading them daily. The teenagers instead reported learning about current events from social media sites such as Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, and blogs.
Using nanotechnology as an example, Runge et al. (2013) studied tweets from Twitter and found that some 41% of the discourse about nanotechnology focused on its negative impacts, suggesting that a portion of the public may be concerned with how various forms of nanotechnology are used in the future. While optimistic-sounding and neutral-sounding tweets were equally likely to express certainty or uncertainty, the pessimistic tweets were nearly twice as likely to appear certain of an outcome than uncertain. These results imply the possibility of a preconceived negative perception of many news articles associated with nanotechnology. Alternatively, these results could also imply that posts of a more pessimistic nature that are also written with an air of certainty are more likely to be shared or otherwise permeate groups on Twitter. Similar biases need to be considered when the utility of new media is addressed, as the potential for human opinion to over-emphasize any particular news story is greater despite the general improvement in addressed potential uncertainty and bias in news articles than in traditional media.
On October 2, 2013, the most common hashtag throughout the country was “#governmentshutdown,” as well as ones focusing on political parties, Obama, and healthcare. Most news sources have twitter, and Facebook, pages, like CNN and the New York Times, providing links to their online articles, getting an increased readership. Additionally, several college news organizations and administrators have Twitter pages as a way to share news and connect to students.  According to "Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2013", in US, among those who use social media to find news, 47% of these people are under 45 years old, 23% are above 45 years old.Social media as a main news gateway is not the same pattern across countries. For example, in this report,in Brazil, 60% of the respondents said social media was one of the five most important way to find news online, 45% in Spain, 17% in UK, 38% in Italy, 14% in France, 22% in Denmark,30% in U.S., 12% in Japan. Moreover, there are differences among countries about commenting news in social networks, 38% of the respondents in Brazil said they commented news in social network in a week. These percentages are 21% in U.S. and 10% in UK. The authors argued that difference among countries may due to culture difference rather than access to technical tools. 

Social Media for History and Memory

News media and television journalism have been instrumental in the shaping of American collective memory for much of the twentieth century. Indeed, since the United States' colonial era, news media has influenced collective memory and discourse about national development and trauma. In many ways, mainstream journalists have maintained an authoritative voice as the storytellers of the American past. Their documentary style narratives, detailed exposes, and their positions in the present make them prime sources for public memory. Specifically, news media journalists have shaped collective memory on nearly every major national event – from the deaths of social and political figures to the progression of political hopefuls. Journalists provide elaborate descriptions of commemorative events in U.S. history and contemporary popular cultural sensations. Many Americans learn the significance of historical events and political issues through news media, as they are presented on popular news stations. However, journalistic influence is growing less important, while social networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, provide a constant source of alternative news sources for users.

As social networking becomes more popular among older and younger generations, sites such as Facebook and YouTube, gradually undermine the traditionally authoritative voices of news media. For example, American citizens contest media coverage of various social and political events as they see fit, inserting their voices into the narratives about America's past and present and shaping their own collective memories. An example of this is the public explosion of the Trayvon Martin shooting in Sanford, Florida. News media coverage of the incident was minimal until social media users made the story recognizable through their constant discussion of the case. Approximately one month after the fatal shooting ofTrayvon Martin, its online coverage by everyday Americans garnered national attention from mainstream media journalists, in turn exemplifying media activism. In some ways, the spread of this tragic event through alternative news sources parallels that of the Emmitt Till – whose murder became a national story after it circulated African American and Communists newspapers. Social media was also influential in the widespread attention given to the revolutionary outbreaks in the Middle East and North Africa during 2011. However, there is some debate about the extent to which social media facilitated this kind of change. Another example of this shift is in the on-going Kony 2012 campaign, which surfaced first on YouTube and later garnered a great amount of attention from mainstream news media journalists. These journalists now monitor social media sites to inform their reports on the movement. Lastly, in the past couple of presidential elections, the use of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter were used to predict election results. U.S. President Barack Obamawas more liked on Facebook than his opponent Mitt Romney and it was found by a study done by Oxford Institute Internet Experiment that more people liked to tweet about comments of President Obama rather than Romney. 

Criticisms of Social Media

Criticisms of social media range from criticisms of the ease of use of specific platforms and their capabilities, disparity of information available, issues with trustworthiness and reliability of information presented, the impact of social media use on an individual's concentration, ownership of media content, and the meaning of interactions created by social media. Although some social media platforms offer users the opportunity to cross-post simultaneously, some social network platforms have been criticized for poor interoperability between platforms, which leads to the creation of information silos- isolated pockets of data contained in one social media platform  However, it is also argued that social media have positive effects such as allowing the democratization of the internet while also allowing individuals to advertise themselves and form friendships.

Due to the increase in social media websites, there seems to be a positive correlation between the usage of such media withcyber-bullying, online sexual predators, and the decrease in face-to-face interactions. Social media may expose children to images of alcohol, tobacco, and sexual behaviors
British-American entrepreneur and author Andrew Keen criticizes social media in his book The Cult of the Amateur, writing, "Out of this anarchy, it suddenly became clear that what was governing the infinite monkeys now inputting away on the Internet was the law of digital Darwinism, the survival of the loudest and most opinionated. Under these rules, the only way to intellectually prevail is by infinite filibustering." This is also relative to the issue "justice" in the social network. For example, the phenomenon “Human flesh search engine” in Asia raised the discussion of "private-law" brought by social network platform.
Comparative Media Professor José van Dijck contends in her book "The Culture of Connectivity" (2013) that to understand the full weight of social media, their technological dimensions should be connected to the social and the cultural. She critically describes six social media platforms. One of her findings is the way Facebook had been successful in framing the term 'sharing' in such a way that third party use of user data is negelected in favour of intra-user connectedness.

Source: wikipedia

Television and Gender Roles

Daniel Chandler
Gender and TV Production

Television still perpetuates traditional 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. This has been called 'the male gaze'. This mode of viewing is called 'unmarked': it is an invisible and largely unquestioned bias - the masculine perspective is the 'norm'.
Girls learn from most TV that it is a man's world, and learn to displace their own perspective. In recent years there has at least been a notable increase in the number of women news presenters. Formerly, TV directors (largely male, of course) had argued that women were less likely to be taken seriously by viewers. However, one could perhaps argue that physical attractiveness may play more part in their selection than for their male counterparts.
There is in fact some evidence that girls (aged 8-12) may tend to find a male newsreader more believable than a woman newsreader, whereas the newsreader's sex does not seem to influence boys' ideas of their believability. Girls may grow used to being presented with the male on TV in general as more powerful and knowledgeable (see Durkin: 94).

Numbers of males and females on TV
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. 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.

Gender vs Sex
Most social scientists distinguish gender from sex. Gender roles are not biologically determined, but vary acording to culture and epoch, and even for individuals during the course of their lives. Gender roles are consequently described by social scientists as socially constructed. Most of the behaviour associated with gender is learned rather than innate. People learn what sorts of behaviour and personality are regarded in their cultural context as appropriate for males or females.
Even within a culture masculinity and femininity may be defined differently by various groups, in particular according to ethnicity, age, social class and sexuality. In this sense there is no single masculinity or femininity, but rather multiple masculinities and femininities. Not all men are 'leaderlike', 'aggressive', 'assertive', 'independent', 'risk-taking' and so on; and not all women are 'affectionate', 'gentle', 'sympathetic', 'dependent', 'emotional', 'nurturing' etc. Such qualities are found in varying degrees in most people.
But all men and all women are aware of the cultural prevalence of traditional gender stereotypes, and television contributes to this awareness. Sex roles involve cultural expectations, such as that men will seek achievement and dominance, and that women will be compliant and supportive. The relationship of individuals to these expectations often involves tensions.

Occupations by gender
The majority of women on TV are restricted to a few roles. Male roles are far more extensive and more exciting. Women are often shown on TV in 'traditional' roles such as housewives, mothers, secretaries and nurses; men are shown as husbands and fathers, but also as athletes, celebrities and tycoons. Marital status on is more often revealed for women on TV than for men. Men on TV are more often portrayed in employment, tend to have a higher status and are less likely to be shown in the home. Where women are shown as successful outside the domestic sphere they are frequently portrayed as unhappy in their personal lives. Once again, such a distribution of occupational roles lags well behind current realities in the workplace (however limited these may still be).

Stereotypical representations of gender roles
Though not as strongly as in earlier years, the portrayal of both men and women on TV is largely traditional and stereotypical. This serves to promote a polarization of gender roles. [With femininity are associated traits such as emotionality, prudence, co-operation, a communal sense, and compliance. Masculinity tends to be associated with such traits as rationality, efficiency, competition, individualism and ruthlessness.]
Meehan has shown how on TV, 'good' women are presented as submissive, sensitive and domesticated; 'bad' women are rebellious, independent and selfish. The 'dream-girl' stereotype is gentle, demure, sensitive, submissive, non-competitive, sweet- natured and dependent. The male hero tends to be physically strong, aggressive, assertive, takes the initiative, is independent, competitive and ambitious. TV and film heroes represent goodness, power, control, confidence, competence and success. They are geared, in other words, to succeed in a competitive economic system. There is no shortage of aggressive male role-models in Westerns, war films and so on. Many boys try to emulate such characteristics through action and aggression.
There are few women in the heroic role played by Sigourney Weaver in Aliens. Men tend to be shown as more dominant, more violent and more powerful than women. Men on TV are more likely to disparage women than vice versa. They drive, drink and smoke more, do athletic things, and make more plans. They are found more in the world of things than in relationships. Women on TV tend to be younger than the men, typically under 30.
So TV images largely reflect traditional patriarchal notions of gender. Stereotypical masculinity, for instance, is portrayed as natural, normal and universal, but it is fact a particular construction. It is largely a white, middle-class heterosexual masculinity. This is a masculinity within which any suggestion of feminine qualities or homosexuality is denied, and outside which women are subordinated. The notion of 'natural' sex differences help to preserve the inequalities on which our economic system continues to be based.

General advertisements

In television advertisements, gender stereotyping tends to be at its strongest because the target audiences are frequently either male or female. There has been some lessening of this in recent years but the general pattern remains. In adverts, men tend to be portrayed as more autonomous. They are shown in more occupations than women; women are shown mainly as housewives and mothers. Men are more likely to be shown advertising cars or business products; women are mostly advertising domestic products. Men are more likely to be shown outdoors or in business settings; women in domestic settings. Men are more often portrayed as authorities. As far as ads go, with age men seem to gain authority, whilst women seem to disappear.
Voice-overs represent the programme-maker's interpretations of what is seen: these are the voices of 'authority'. They are overwhelmingly male (figures of up to 94% have been reported). There have been more female voice-overs in recent years but mainly for food, household products and feminine care products. Male voice-overs tend to be associated with a far wider range of products.

Adverts for children
Most modern TV ads feature both girls and boys, but boys tend to be the dominant ones. Ads aimed at boys portray far more activity and aggressive behaviour than those for girls, and tend to be far louder. Boys are typically shown as active, aggressive, rational and discontented. Boys ads contain active toys, varied scenes, rapid camera cuts and loud, dramatic music and sounds. Girls ads tend to have frequent fades, dissolves, and gentle background music (Welch et al.)

Children's programmes
Up to 85% of the characters in children's TV are male, even in cartoons, and with animal characters - the sexual distribution of which is roughly as for Homo sapiens. Similarly, the occupational range for female characters on children's TV far more limited than for males.

Children on TV
In general on TV, boys tend to be shown as active, aggressive, rational and discontented. They tend to engage in traditional male activities such as sports, travel and causing trouble. Even now, girls are often shown talking on the phone, reading and helping with the housework. This pattern is even found in educational programmes for children.

Gender and genre
Many commentators argue that viewing pleasures may be different for men and women. This is partly a question of programme genres, and partly of style of engagement with TV. Some theorists distinguish between styles of programmes which are broadly 'masculine' or 'feminine'. Those seen as typically masculine include action/adventure programmes, Westerns and factual programmes; those seen as more 'feminine' include soaps, sitcoms, romantic fiction and melodrama. Action-adventures define men in relation to power, authority, aggression and technology. Soap operas define women in relation to a concern with the family. It is largely in sitcoms and soaps that men may sometimes be seen as caring, loving and expressive rather than dominating and authoritative.

Soaps in general have a predominantly female audience, although prime-time soaps such as Dallas are deliberately aimed at a wider audience, and in fact at least 30% of the audience for this soap was male. According to Ang, and hardly surprisingly, in Dallas the main interest for men was in business relations and problem and the power and wealth shown, whereas women were more often interested in the family issues and love affairs. In the case of Dallas it is clear that the programme meant something different for female viewers compared with male viewers.
The audience for soaps does include men (and probably more men than are prepared to admit it), but some theorists argue that the gender of the viewer is 'inscribed' in the programme so that soaps address women in particular. Soaps appeal to those who value the personal and domestic world. Dorothy Hobson argues that women typically use soaps as a way of talking indirectly about their own attitudes and behaviour. There is no doubt that viewing and talking with family and friends about soap operas is experienced by many women as a pleasurable experience, and the dismissal of the worth of the genre by many commentators, including some feminists critical of gender stereotyping, is open to the charge of cultural élitism.

The openness of soaps
Some feminist theorists have argued that soap operas spring from a feminine aesthetic, in contrast to most prime-time TV. Soaps are unlike traditional drama which has a beginning, a middle and an end: soaps have no beginning or end, no structural closure. They do not build up towards an ending or closure of meaning. Viewers can join a soap at any point: there are built-in devices to recap on aspects of the plot. There is no single narrative line. In this sense the plots of soaps are not linear. Narrative lines are interwoven over time. The structure of soaps is complex and there is no final word on any issue. A soap involves multiple perspectives and no consensus. Ambivalence and contradiction is characteristic of the genre. This leaves soaps particularly open to individual interpretations.
Modleski argues that pleasure in masculine narrative forms focuses on closure, whilst soaps delay resolution and make anticipation an end in itself. She also argues that masculine narratives 'inscribe' in the text an implied male reader who becomes increasingly omnipotent whilst the soap has 'the ideal mother' as inscribed viewer - a sympathetic listener to all sides. In 'realist' soaps female characters are portrayed as more central than in action drama, as ordinary people coping with everyday problems. Christine Geraghty argues that viewers see events in realist soaps through the eyes of such women (in Dyer et al., 1981). There is no single hero in soaps and no privileged moral perspective.
Easthope argues that the masculine ego favours forms which are self-contained, and which have a sense of closure. 'Masculine' narrative favours action over dialogue and avoids indeterminacy to arrive at closure/resolution. It is linear and goal-oriented. Dialogue in masculine narratives is driven by plot which it explains, clarifies and simplifies. John Fiske has argued that 'masculine' programmes are less open to multiple interpretations than 'feminine' programmes, which tend to be more open and ambiguous. Certainly women frequently report the importance to them of talking to others about the situations and characters in the soaps they watch. The characters in this sense become part of the viewers' everyday lives.
In soaps dialogue blurs and delays. Soaps make consequences more important than actions and involve many complications. Not much seems to 'happen' in many soaps because there is no rapid action. In soaps such as Coronation Street and Brookside what matters is the effect of events on the characters, This is revealed through characters talking to each other. Viewers tend to feel involved in interpreting events from the perspective of characters similar to themselves or to those they know.
Women who are housewives and mothers need to be able to do several things at once, to switch from one task to another, to deal with other people's problems, to be interrupted. Modleski argues that watching soap operas habituates women to interruption and fragmentation. As Livingstone puts it: 'through narrative redundancy and repetition they make it easy, through dramatic tension and delayed gratification they make it pleasurable'.
However, it is easy to oversimplify gender differences in interpreting TV. Social class, ethnicity, age and education are all complicating factors, and there are considerable differences within gender.

'Masculine' genres
Sport on television is dominated by men and tends to inculcate masculine values. Sports programmes define men in relation to competition, strength and discipline.
Most war films promote violence as 'natural' and heroic for males. Women in these films are typically mothers, chattel or whores. The soldiers are men of few words, heroic deeds and stoic endurance. As John Wayne put it, 'Never apologize, mister - it's a sign of weakness'. Lethal tasks are performed by soldiers in these films with no show of emotion.
Easthope argues that detective stories 'give the masculine ego the pleasure of mastery, certainty, seeing it all clearly laid out in the end'. Detective stories involve following clues and unravelling plots to re-establish a sense of order.

The male gaze
I have referred already to the overwhelming use of males for voice-overs. Visuals are similarly given an invisible masculine frame...
Erving Goffman (1979) found that in media advertisements 'men tend to be located higher than women' and 'women are pictured on floors and bedas more than men'. He noted that 'lowering oneself physically in some form or other of prostration' is 'a classic stereotype of deference'. It effectively presents women as inferior to men.
On TV, men tend to be shown in clseface shots whereas women tend to be seen in full body shots. This has been called 'face-ism'. The face is generally seen as representing intellect and the body as emotion in western cultural mythologies.

Buddy narratives
The so-called 'buddy movies' portray men paired as co-heroes and tend to be action-oriented. In them, men are seen as acting together rather than just being together as women tend to be. Westerns tend to be the clearest example of images of male bonding on TV, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid being a classic celebration of the 'buddy' relationship. Women in the film are treated as marginal and as objects of exchange between the two buddies (see Easthope). Other example of the buddy theme are The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Starsky & Hutch, M*A*S*H, Star Trek and Miami Vice. Such narratives shown bonding through activity rather than intimacy - though sometimes physical (rather than emotional) intimacy is portrayed (as in Starsky & Hutch). And bond is goal-oriented rather than relationship-oriented.
Male friendships on TV are rarely intimate. Any intimate relationship between men is more likely to be found in sitcoms (which tend to be aimed largely at women and children). Men in TV drama who express their feelings do so largely to women.

Gays on TV
Intimacy between men inspires homophobic reactions. Typically gays are symbols of what masulinity should not involve. Without homosexuality, heterosexuality has no meaning. Although gays are largely invisible on TV there has been an slightly increasing tendency to feature token gay stereotypes on TV, though they are rarely shown enjoying happy lives (in Dynasty, one recalls Steven's lovers getting killed). Stories about gays tend to reinforce conventional values. Even when gay men are portrayed the central focus tends to be on the reaction of others to this as a 'problem'. This is particularly disturbing if, as some suggest, TV images may be more important to gays in identity- formation and socialization than to heterosexuals - who have frequent access to positive images.

Modes of use
David Morley's important study Family Television offers a host of insights into the differences between mothers and fathers in terms of the way in which they use television, at least amongst white lower-middle- and working- class families. Morley emphasizes that he does not see these differences in modes of use as related to biological sex differences, but to social roles in the home and the distribution of power. For men the home still tends to be primarily a place of leisure; for women (even those who work outside it) the home is still mainly a place of work. The way men tend to use TV is not so much an inherently 'masculine' mode but what Charlotte Brunsdon calls 'a mode of power'.

Degree of attention
Morley reports that many men prefer to watch TV with full concentration, without interruption, and in silence, and that many women watch with less attention. Some women prefer to watch and chat at the same time, seeing television viewing as a social activity. Women also refer more often than men to chatting about TV programmes with friends and workmates. One women (cited by Hobson, in Seiter et al.) declared 'I only watch Coronation Street so I can talk about it.'
Fathers who become engrossed in TV programmes (most clearly in news programmes, apparently) are of course at the time less responsive to other members of the family. Some commentators have argued that watching in this way is a deliberate way for men to shut out the rest of the family. It is very uncommon for mothers to neglect the family in this way: they tend to maintain a monitoring role. Some may on occasion even watch primarily in order to make social contact with another viewer. This is a clear reflection of prevailing social roles in the home. Most mothers would feel too guilty to watch television as wholeheartedly as many men like to do, and the prevailing pattern of responsibilities in the home does not permit women to watch in the way that men prefer. As Ang puts it (in Seiter et al.): 'Men... can watch television in a concentrated manner because they control the conditions to do so.'

Choice of programmes
Fathers are the ones referred to most often as controlling the selection of TV programmes on the main family TV set, though fathers often didn't see it this way (Lull). In Morley's sample, men were far more likely to plan a evening's viewing in advance than women were. For many men the remote control device is effectively symbolic of their power of choice over programmes. Some women complain that their husbands often switch programmes without regard for whether their wives had been watching. Mothers only rarely take such unilateral action. This is a reflection of male power in the home. As one girl put it, 'Dad keeps both of the automatic controls - one on each side of his chair.'

Programme Types
Morley's study showed a strong male preference for 'factual' programmes such as news, current affairs and documentaries, and a female preference for fictional programmes, including romantic fiction in particular. Morley also felt that this pattern was reinforced for men by a sense of guilt that watching TV is 'second best' to other more physically active leisure pursuits. When men watch fictional programmes, they also seem to prefer what they feel are more 'realistic' programmes (eg. 'realistic' sitcoms). Radway's research on women's reading has shown that many of the women she interviewed read romantic fiction as an escape from the continual demands of their work within and outside the home. Morley reported that the women he interviewed felt guilty about their enjoyment of romance or soaps on TV.
When women watch news programmes, they tend to prefer local rather than national news. Morley argues that this also reflects women's sense of domestic responsibility, for instance in keeping an eye on local crime in case it has implications for the family.
Regarding tastes in comedy, women in Morley's sample tended to reject 'zany' comedy (in particular, at the time, The Young Ones), whilst the men and teenagers tended to enjoy such comedies. Here Morley suggests that domestic disorder may not seem funny if domestic orderliness is your prime concern.
However, any tendencies for men and women to use TV in different ways can be easily oversimplified. Many modes of interaction with TV are shared by men and women, and other factors apart from gender may sometimes be more important. It results from the dominant model of gender relations in western society.

Influence of TV gender images
There is a general consensus that the mass media act as important agents of socialization, together with the family and peers, contributing to the shaping of gender roles. I stressed in my previous lecture the emphasis given by social learning theorists such as Bandura to the modelling of behaviour on observed examples. Certainly we learn to be male or female - it doesn't come 'naturally' and the mass media contribute to making such roles seem 'natural'. And there is no doubt that TV presents powerful, attention-grabbing images of gender. It has been noted that many boys spend more time with male role-models on TV than with their own fathers.
But television alone is not responsible for shaping people's gender roles. There are plenty of examples of gender-typed behaviour around us in the social world. A special contribution of TV may be to present examples of models found in a broader world than that which is more directly experienced in the home and the locality. Wherever they get their ideas from, by the age of about 6, (even in rhetorically anti-sexist families) it seems that most children develop clearcut stereotypes about what the sexes can or cannot do. And given that TV is not short of sexist images, and that children watch a lot of TV, it's tempting to assign the blame to television.
Early researchers (such as Sue Sharpe) tended to see the media as inevitably socializing children into traditional stereotypical roles, because of the prevalence of such images on TV and the importance ascribed to them by children. However, such accounts tend to overestimate the power of the media and underestimate the variety of ways in which people - even children - handle their experiences of them. TV images of boys, girls, men and women are more varied and less clearcut than such arguments suggest. Television offers contradictory images which can be interpreted in many ways, and viewers are far more active interpreters than the passive recipients suggested by such accounts.
Kevin Durkin stresses developmental factors. In the preschool years (up to around 4), children learn to use gender as a way of discriminating between people. It is unlikely that TV is a major influence at this stage, since the child is heavily engaged in social interaction with family and friends, and since much of TV is too complex to be fully understood in the early years.
During the early school years (around 4-7), the child's sense of gender becomes well established, though somewhat rigidly stereotyped. During this phase, children seem pay more attention to same-sex figures than to other-sex figures on the screen. This probably serves both to confirm and extend their assumptions about gender. But again, TV is far from the only source of data on gender for the child: schoolteachers now join friends and family as sources, and the peer group becomes significantly more important.
During middle childhood (around 7-12), children refine their psychological understanding of gender and develop sex-typed preferences for differing types of TV programmes. Even at this stage they do not necessarily accept as real or desirable what they watch. Indeed, there is some evidence that at this stage heavy viewers may show some scepticism about gender steroetypes.
The potential influence of TV may be greatest during adolescence (around 12-18), since at this stage gender plays such a key part in social life. At this stage dominant gender images on TV may tend to reinforce traditional expectations amongst adolescents, thus inducing role conflicts. Some commentators speculate that the gap between adolescent self-concepts and glamorous media images may sometimes induce personal insecurity.
In short, although there are huge gaps in our knowledge of developmental factors, the developmental perspective emphasizes the problem of talking about the influence of TV on 'the child' in general. And the critical importance of the family should not be neglected, either. I have already outlined features of the politics of TV use. It would be unlikely for children not to be influenced by the differing ways in which their parents use TV. In families in which the gender roles are largely traditional, TV may tend to serve to reinforce such gender roles. In this way television certainly plays a role in the construction of gender roles.
More broadly, we need to remember that all viewers have several options regarding gender images: to accept them; to disregard them; to interpret them in their own way; and to reject them. As John Fiske puts it (in Seiter et al.), 'Television is not quite a do-it-yourself meaning kit but neither is it a box of ready-made meanings'. Children's scatological rewriting of jingles from TV ads is an amusing example of the way children reinterpret TV from their own perspective.
TV offers a wide range of potential role-models, both positive and negative. Many people find these models of some use to them. It is not inevitable that viewers accept TV gender images without question, but many popular commentators tend to assume that they are more discriminating than ordinary mortals. Not all women, children - or even men - are passive victims of patriarchal stereotyping.
Though there is little doubt that TV presents largely traditional gender images there is mixed evidence about the impact of such images on gender attitudes and behaviour. It is difficult to isolate the role of TV, since people are influenced by their whole environment, although there is fairly widespread agreement that over time TV seems likely to influence people's ideas about gender roles.
There is some research evidence suggesting that heavy TV viewing may contribute to gender role development and/or reinforcement amongst children and adolescents, and some associating sexism or stereotyping of gender roles with heavy TV viewers (Gerbner). Durkin finds the evidence so far inadequate. However, there is evidence that counterstereotypical portrayals do seem able to influence children's perceptions of their options, but such portrayals are generally rare.
In short, studies of the influence of TV gender images on children are not very conclusive, partly because they have not always been well designed. Many studies have shown a modest association between viewing patterns and gender stereotypes. There is not much evidence yet for any strong impact of TV. Children are not passive recipients of TV images. Their existing attitudes to gender role play an important part in interpreting images of gender on TV.
Thus, once again, the available evidence does not offer a simple picture of the role of TV in the development of gender roles. As always in social science, the picture is subtle, complex, and rich in research opportunities.