Pick a research problem on representations of gender or race related toentertainment television which can be investigated using content analysis. Choose and record an appropriate sample of entertainment programmes. Review existing literature onthe topic. Develop a coding frame, and define specific categories and codes. Using thecoding frame, perform a content analysis. Finally, in the paper present your findings, and compare and contrast to the existing literature in this area.
Gender Roles on Entertainment Television: Stereotypes andBehaviours
1.IntroductionAs part of this research project, I decided it would be interesting to analyse gender in relationto entertainment television. I soon learned that there are many wide-ranging articles relatingto issues of gender and television. Particularly, I quickly became interested in the stereotypesand behaviours associated with different genders in television programmes. An extremelyuseful article I found was Ahlstrand’s
Gender Stereotyping in Television Advertisements
(2007) which documented the stereotypes which emerge in television advertising. This studywas conducted by means of a coding frame and a content analysis, which was very helpful.Another article I discovered was Long, Boiarsky and Thayer’s article:
Gender and racial counter-stereotypes in science education television: a content analysis
(2001). Herechildren’s science education programmes were analysed with regard to gender and race, withan emphasis on stereotypes. The nature of this study inspired me to research a current sciencerelated, television programme aimed at a more mature audience – “The Big Bang Theory”.With this television show, the main male characters are geeky scientists who take pride intheir work and are comfortable being socially inept. The main female character in the show isa waitress, who is portrayed as blonde, ditzy, funny and smart when it comes to pop culture.Already a clear pattern can be observed; the males are presented as superior, more intellectual beings – while the female character is inferior and less intelligent. I chose this television programme as it seems likely that through the development of a coding frame and a contentanalysis, it will be interesting to determine if particular stereotypes and behaviours of thecharacters gender, especially with regard to their level of education or profession, exist.