Friday, February 3, 2012

the flaws of content analysis

Content analysis has proven to be helpful in quantifying the disparities found in the representations of race, gender, sexuality, etc.; however, as Gill and Van Zoonen has acknowledged, it is also flawed. As Gill states, "The major problems with this is its failure to pick up on differences and on how things are changing. At its worst, content analysis may be accused of only telling us what we know already." (Gill, 45). Content analysis offers us the quantifying ability, but it lacks the ability to offer us much about the content and what it represents.
In class we have talked about the tv show, "Whitney" before and the latest episode proves extremely pertinent to our class. If one was to do a content analysis of this show, they would find that it is rather progressive in the diversity of the actors. There are 3 women, 1 being the main character, and there are 3 men, 1 who is of Indian decent. Although the content analysis shows that this series is a good representation of equality of the sexes, this particular episode has a sexist undertone. The characters of Roxanne and Mark get into a fight after Mark calls Roxanne "mannish". During a game night with friends Mark believes that he and Roxanne are only successful, after declaring that only men were good at games because women weren't decisive enough, because Roxanne had man qualities even though she was a woman. This is a rather sexist and misogynistic statement, and proves that even though the content analysis demonstrated the equality between the sexes in representation, it has sexist aspects that do not show up after performing content analysis. I was unable to find a clip of the most pertinent part of the show, but I have attached a link to the episode if people want to check it out, whitney.

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