Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hegemony Presence in Feminist Shows

Ideological analysis and critique of media’s messages and content as discussed in Gill points to a fluctuating system of symbolic power that acts as a source of social regulation.  Of the four main concepts of media studies that Gramsci outlined in this section, hegemony and articulation can arguably be seen as the most overt influences.   Through the power inherent in media producers and social media regulators there is evidence that ploys of hegemony and articulation of what is true “femininity” have retained a consistent hold on young audiences, despite the shifting ideologies of the contemporary social world. 
            With the dawning of postfeminism in modern society it would be assumed that the “empowerment” and “acceptance” of female members would be reflected in media, and it has.  Shows like Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Sister, Sister portray young women with their own sense of independence and power that is characteristic of postfeminism.  However, a point made in Projansky & Vande Berg’s article “Sabrina the Teenage…?” highlights the underlying cultural standards for beauty, competence in traditionally female roles, and male acceptance that are still in affect. 

            While Sabrina lives in an all female home environment with her aunts that encourage her development as a powerful witch, Sabrina is still concerned with her appearance (thought not as much as her friend Valerie), acceptance in her social sphere, and her continued affections for Harvey.  The men in the plot all hold some power over Sabrina; from Harvey’s love and affections, her father’s expectations and pride, Salem's constant meddling and presence, and principal Kraft’s strict school regulations.
            In addition, there is a lack of diversity outside of Sabrina’s independent character, with limited deviations from heterosexuality and all white key characters.  Contrary to "radical" progressive social norms the show my have felt safer relating to the middle-class teenage audience on a feminist, but still comfortable level.

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