Tuesday, 11 May 2010
September 2, 2009 by centreforsocialaction
We all want to believe in that rosy picture of healthy, happy children playing with each other, in complete harmony with nature and the world. So where do we go wrong? When does this innocence give way to pent up emotions like anger, guilt and regret? At what point do we turn these children into anti-social elements? All these questions and more came up during this Friday’s Chatting over Coffee, which discussed juvenile delinquency and the media influence.
In a society like ours, where childhood and innocence are invariably linked, what gives rise to crime among children? To identify the root of this issue, it is necessary to probe a little deeper into our concepts of ‘childhood’. This, either by stepping into the shoes of a child who develops his or her sense of self based on societal pressures and expectations, or even just by going back to our childhood days.
To begin with, a child starts forming an identity, a sense of self, by exploring the world around him or her. This child shapes himself or herself based on the very strong influences of family and society. He or she learns that he or she will have to live up to certain expectations. These expectations are set by the society and the family based on popular notions which may or may not be healthy for the child. But being commonly accepted, the child is taught at a very young age, through his or her interactions with people around him or her, that these are the ideas that the child must believe in. For example, a child who wants to be a bus conductor is taught that it is a ‘lowly’ job and does not fit in the kind of role the child is expected or ‘supposed’ to play in the society.
Though this may seem to be a very trivial matter, this hinders the process of the child developing an identity for himself or herself, and forming interests, passions and beliefs which form the basis for the child’s sense of self. When this sense of self is built on such a shaky foundation, is it any wonder that it comes crashing down at some point of time? A minor is always looked down upon as one who cannot take decisions for oneself. This kind of undermining the child’s status also builds up resentment in the child.
So how does this connect to juvenile delinquency? Its pretty simple. These societal influences are the ones that shape a child’s behaviour. So now we can say that if a child indulges in crime of any sort, a major chunk of the responsibility must be borne by the society itself. A few examples might give us a clearer picture.
Take the case of a child who is beaten up every day for no reason, or maybe small mistakes. This child grows up learning and absorbing the wrong idea that violence is the only way to react to any unpleasant situation. Unpleasant situation as in one which does not work out in the way we want it to. So naturally when the child does not like something, violence is going to be the path he or she turns to in an attempt to set things right.
Or say a child who is hungry steals food…
Or a child who is angry kills…
Now to examine where the media comes into this. In today’s context it is not possible to distinguish the society from its media. People in a society are simply blind followers of values, beliefs and ideologies that are propagated by its various media. The same holds true for children. Violent video games, movies, cartoons and the like cater to young, impressionable minds and implant value systems which we would consider quite inappropriate in them. Insensitivity to the value of life, to ethics, to ethical practices is held in high esteem by the media we encounter every single day of our lives. This passes on to children and invariably they end up believing in things that can lead them to get themselves involved in anti social activities. The protagonist in a movie might kill a villain and harp about this as a great achievement. Here the value of life is understated and not given due importance. Minor, everyday things like these build up, starting small but growing into something quit big and sinister.
How do we change? Change can come about only through conscious effort. A better approach by juvenile rehabilitation homes, less stigma, less of blind media propagated beliefs may be a start. Once again, it all comes down to us. The change starts within ourselves, and then moves on to family, community, society and ultimately the nation. Lets try to be a little less judgemental, a little more trusting, and learn to question what we think is wrong. Let us stand on our own feet and decide our own beliefs rather than let someone else do it for us. Then we can hope for a better place, a better world. Where childhood is still beautiful.
In defining our image, we take all the things that appeal to us in the world to create how we want to see ourselves. We set out to make ourselves visible in the world so our images are reflected back to us through the desire of others.
We can try to define our identity according to how we want to be seen — by others and by ourselves — but this is an incomplete view of what true identity really represents because often the things we find appealing reveal what we feel is missing in our own lives.(1)
Image is so important to us because we all want to belong to something meaningful, desirable and important. The precisely fashioned images we show others are supposed proof of our value.
Since image is largely derived from the world around us, it may be helpful to note a few of the most powerful influences that pressure us. Influences shape our beliefs and ultimately what we truly value; what we value is a reflection of what is in our hearts.
Feeling the peer pressure
Peer pressure has a tremendous effect on all of us. Have you ever had a teacher or friend that had a positive and profound influence upon you? They probably influenced your values, which affected the image you portrayed and in turn impacted your lifestyle.
A study in the 1960s reveals the powerful influence of peer pressure cannot be ignored. Stanley Milgram, a psychologist at Yale University, conducted experiments attempting to prove the immense power of influence exerted through peer pressure and authority.
"Although controversial by today’s ethical standards, the experiments revealed a dark side of human nature: many subjects were quite willing to obey an authority even if such obedience meant inflicting severe pain on another person.
Even though the experiments were themselves a deception (that is, the electric shocks the subjects ‘administered’ to the victims were not real, and the ‘victims’ were pretending to feel pain as part of the experiment), many of the subjects suffered considerable trauma to discover that they had the capacity within themselves — in obedience to authority and peer pressure — to inflict such torture." (2)
The experiment illustrates that we really are no’t always consciously aware of how much influence those around us actually exert on us. Although another’s influence may not be presented as an authority, they can still have a tremendous effect on us.
In response to the influence of others, we image ourselves in a way that we think is appealing and desirable to our peers; we tend to want to "fall into line" because of our desire for acceptance. A self image created with the objective of pleasing others is unreliable and ultimately a hollow and disappointing endeavor because the opinion of others is always shifting and approval is fleeting.
Bombarded with media messages
Popular media is another influence worth exploring. Countless ideas of what image we should adopt to improve ourselves and bring true happiness are constantly coming at us through television, computers or radio.
Constructing our identity has become a requirement in our modern Western society where we are constantly facing choices of identity and lifestyle.(3) We have seen various ways in which popular ideas about "self" in society have changed, so that identity is seen today as more fluid and transformable than ever before.
Consider how popular media has contributed to the change of our traditional gender roles. One text traces shifting gender ideals like this:
"The traditional view of a woman as a housewife or low-status worker has been kick-boxed out of the picture by the feisty, successful ‘girl power’ icons. Meanwhile the masculine ideals of absolute toughness, stubborn self-reliance and emotional silence have been shaken by a new emphasis on men’s emotions, need for advice, and the problems of masculinity." (4)
Whether you believe the media is a reflection of changing societal values, or a leading force disposing of traditional social roles and values, media disseminates an enormous number of messages suggesting "better" forms of self-expression, gender, sexuality, and lifestyle. Although the public has its own robust and diverse set of feelings on subjects of gender, sexuality and lifestyle, the media uses seductive and proven methods of persuasion and represents a constant bombardment of image advice.
Even if we disagree with the images in our minds, they still can play on our emotions; the frequency of exposure to media suggestion can wear on even the most grounded person.
Peer and media influence are clearly not the only forces which may pressure us, but we are exposed to them every day, whether they be negative, positive, truthful, or fraudulent. These influences can be unreliable and inconsistent at best. As one text reminds us, "As long as you derive your identity from the world around you, you have to be concerned about losing it." (5)
Our attempts to define and image ourselves are a reaction to a deeper need within — the need to satisfy an intense yearning deep inside every human being, a need for purpose and belonging. The problem of defining our identity from exterior influences is they are unreliable; even seeking definition from within ourselves can be unreliable with our fluctuating emotions and confidence.
This choice of question I wish to explore is due to the control of the media and how much influence they have on us. In order to gain attention advertising has reached its extremes in relation to how superficial society has become, and how the theory of ‘surface’ has become the main focus. The media has created this manipulative influence among society affecting the loss of the ‘norm’.
The Advertising Codes lay down rules for advertisers, agencies and media owners to follow. The Advertising Standards Codes are separated out into codes for TV, radio and all other types of ads (‘non-broadcast advertising’). There are also rules for Teletext ads, interactive ads and the scheduling of television ads.
Who writes the rules?
The ASA is not responsible for writing the rules. The Codes are written by the advertising industry through the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP). The members of these committees comprise the main industry bodies representing advertisers, agencies and media owners (including individual broadcasters).
CAP is responsible for the rulebook for non-broadcast advertisements, sales promotions and direct marketing. Non-broadcast means ads in media such as cinema, press, posters and online.
What do the rules say?
The Codes contain wide-ranging rules designed to ensure that advertising does not mislead, harm or offend. Ads must also be socially responsible and prepared in line with the principles of fair competition. These broad principles apply regardless of the product being advertised.
In addition, the Codes contain specific rules for certain products and marketing techniques. These include rules for alcoholic drinks, health and beauty claims, children, medicines, financial products, environmental claims, gambling, direct marketing and prize promotions. These rules add an extra layer of consumer protection on top of consumer protection law and aim to ensure that UK advertising is responsible.
The ASA administers the rules in the spirit as well as the letter, making it almost impossible for advertisers to find loopholes or ‘get off on a technicality’. This common sense approach takes into account the nature of the product being advertised, the media used, and the audience being targeted.
Direct links to the Advertising Codes
Control of ads
HOW IS ADVERTISING IN THE UK CONTROLLED?
Good advertising is good for consumers and good for business.
Research has shown that consumers view advertising as an integral part of everyday culture - a source of information and entertainment. However, the acceptance of advertising by consumers relies not just on its entertainment value, but also on its trustworthiness.
The UK marketing industry recognised the need for trust in advertising when it set up the advertising self-regulatory system for non-broadcast advertising in 1961. Since then, the UK’s system of self-regulation has helped to ensure advertising remains responsible: honest advertising helps to keep customers coming back. Read more about the history of the ASA.
Today, the UK advertising regulatory system is a mixture of
Broadly this means that the system is paid for by the industry, which also writes the rules, but those rules are independently enforced by the ASA.
The system is a sign of a considerable commitment by the advertising industry to uphold standards in their profession. All parts of the advertising industry – advertisers, agencies and media – have come together to commit to being legal, decent, honest and truthful in their ads.
Childhood is not from birth to a certain age and at a certain age
The child is grown, and puts away childish things.
Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies.
Nobody that matters, that is. Distant relatives of course
Die, whom one never has seen or has seen for an hour,
And they gave one candy in a pink-and-green stripéd bag, or a
And went away, and cannot really be said to have lived at all.
And cats die. They lie on the floor and lash their tails,
And their reticent fur is suddenly all in motion
With fleas that one never knew were there,
Polished and brown, knowing all there is to know,
Trekking off into the living world.
You fetch a shoe-box, but it's much too small, because she won't
curl up now:
So you find a bigger box, and bury her in the yard, and weep.
But you do not wake up a month from then, two months
A year from then, two years, in the middle of the night
And weep, with your knuckles in your mouth, and say Oh, God!
Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies that matters,
—mothers and fathers don't die.
And if you have said, "For heaven's sake, must you always be
kissing a person?"
Or, "I do wish to gracious you'd stop tapping on the window with
Tomorrow, or even the day after tomorrow if you're busy having
Is plenty of time to say, "I'm sorry, mother."
To be grown up is to sit at the table with people who have died,
who neither listen nor speak;
Who do not drink their tea, though they always said
Tea was such a comfort.
Run down into the cellar and bring up the last jar of raspberries;
they are not tempted.
Flatter them, ask them what was it they said exactly
That time, to the bishop, or to the overseer, or to Mrs. Mason;
They are not taken in.
Shout at them, get red in the face, rise,
Drag them up out of their chairs by their stiff shoulders and shake
them and yell at them;
They are not startled, they are not even embarrassed; they slide
back into their chairs.
Your tea is cold now.
You drink it standing up,
And leave the house.
Lauren Pixie Bushell: Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies
Monday, 10 May 2010
The Portrayal of Women in Magazine Advertisements
Across Four Different Women's Magazines
Morally outraged David Cameron, the Conservative leader, urged that such companies as primark should “take some responsibility” for the sexualising of children.
“wider marketing culture that now targets young girls relentlessly, emphasising that their appearance is of supreme importance, a quality to be valued far above any other intellectual or emotional capabilities”
(McCartney., J, The telegraph, Primark padded bikini row: Leave our kids alone, 18th April 2010)http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/7601381/Primark-padded-bikini-row-Leave-our-kids-alone.html
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2009
Sunday, April 09, 2006
By LaMont Jones, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Sex still sells -- and it can still shock, too.
In the U.S. fashion and beauty industry, sexual imagery in advertising seems to be going in two different directions: toward a more subtle sexiness that emphasizes the product, but also toward the more brazen and provocative.
Sex has been used to sell fashion for decades, with brands such as Calvin Klein, Abercrombie & Fitch and Guess among the earliest and most relentless envelope pushers. More recently, trend-setting designer Tom Ford influenced a more homoerotic approach during his tenure at Gucci and Yves St. Laurent.
In current ad campaigns, a few brands are testing boundaries of taste and decency like never before.
These images are bolder than similar but more subtle homoerotic images of female models in ads by Emporio Armani, BCBG Max Azria and Gucci. And they're being noticed and talked about.
"The more skin you show, the better, sometimes. It's about being edgy, and it's absolutely acceptable in fashion. It's creative people's attempts at getting your attention, and it's getting harder and harder to get people's attention."
Still, there is "hyper-eroticism and objectification of women" in fashion advertising, Ms. White said, and it's influenced by the music industry. Take, for instance, Diddy's music background prior to his foray into fashion, and a similar road taken by Baby Phat creative director Kimora Lee Simmons, estranged wife of hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons.
"It's part of the sexualization of women to sell, to move product," said Ms. White. "We all want to be sexy, let's face it. But we don't want to be objectified. And that's what a lot of these ads do. That's what music videos do to women. If strips you of dignity, of humanity. You become this object."
But does sex-selling really work?
"Prada has never sexually objectified men or women and is the top fashion brand in the world," she said. "Generally, there is a more toned-own, subtle sexuality that is a lot more respectful of women. These are the people who are leading fashion."
The reality is that "target audiences are much more widely accepting" of risque ads, Mr. Gatti said, which is why magazines are not rejecting them -- or the revenue they bring.
"It all depends on who's reading the magazines," he said. Advertisers know who's buying, and that you're trying to emulate that whole attitude. Your grandmother isn't gonna buy GQ. She might be with her grandson or granddaughter in Abercrombie and pick it up and be shocked by it. But people know their audiences, which is why Abercrombie hasn't gone away."
First published on April 9, 2006 at 12:00 am
Post-Gazette fashion editor LaMont Jones can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1469.
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06099/680116-314.stm#ixzz0nZk5byuV
The human form is the foundation of fashion and there would be no advertising for this industry without it. However, the way it is exploited in such ads, do not represent neither the clothes nor the brand identity. These ideas that the advertisers are sending out are promoting the acceptance to be dressed in a sexualized manner.
Here are some more images:
Today young people are exposed to the media more than they ever have been, it invades, our lifestyles and influences the way in which we interact with each other and see the world around us.
Above all, young people are targeted to boost sales and maintain the status of the brand.
The question is whether we as a society are doing this in the right way as everything that is put out there can have a massive impact on the younger generation and their future.
Research has shown that young children younger than 8 years are cognitively and psychologically defenseless against advertising. They do not understand the notion of intent to sell and frequently accept advertising claims at face value.
The average young person views more than 3000 ads per day on television (TV), on the Internet, on billboards, and in magazines. Increasingly, advertisers are targeting younger and younger children in an effort to establish "brand-name preference" at as early an age as possible.
Increasingly, advertisers are seeking to find new and creative ways of targeting young consumers via the Internet, in schools, and even in bathroom stalls
-Language, image, media by Howard Davies and Paul Walton
-Sex, politics and society- regulation of sexuality since 1800 by Jeffrey Weeks
-Subculture, the meaning of style by Dick Hebdige
-Media politics and culture, a socialist view by Carl Gardener
- Comparative youth culture, the sociology of youth culture and youth
subculture in America, Britain and Canada by Michael Brake
- The sociology of youth culture and youth subcultures by Mike Brake
- Media culture and society, a critical reader by Richard Collin, James Curran, Nicholas Garnham, Paddy Scannell, Philip Schlesinger and Colin Sparks
I plan to layout my written dissertation in 3 chapters including an introduction and conclusion. I aim to investigate the contrast between the younger and the older generations; reflecting the effect of the media and how their effective ways can manipulate these generations absorbing them in this form of influential advertising. I plan to research what makes a good advertisement, and how other influences associated with the advertisement effect the response of the viewer psychologically as well as this power it has to create this stereotype associated with a brand.
With the pressure of the media today our younger generations are reflecting the effect of this push and becoming pressured in to this new type of culture. The younger audience is impressionable and the base of enjoying childhood in my opinion is living like a child should; rather than the need to want to rush to grow up and be like the adult. Our younger audience is so easily influenced that it questions how this generation will turn out. What will they perceive as the norm?
What the younger audiences are loosing out on, referring to the norm, the advertising media are gaining by creating this idea of what is essentially the way to be; This stereo type to become part of this brand.
A supporting example is of recently in Primark the production of padded bras for young children. The marketing culture is trying to target young girls in order to widen their market. Where will we cut the line to protect a child and let them grow by themselves.
The points that I will cover within my first Chapter will consist of looking at the youth, the pressures and loosing touch of childhood. The effect of losing there childish ways and become part of this new type of culture (relating to youth culture, sub cultures and stereotypes) is making the younger generation loose out on the norm.
For my second Chapter I will look in to the Role of the advertiser and how they stretch the boundaries, allowing this advertising tolerance. These designers are artists in them selves how they create their pieces of work to generate this outrageous impact. Fashion Advertising is becoming an excuse to publish more and more provocative images. With investigating what makes a good advertisement I plan to do a survey in order to get a good feedback of viewer’s responses and feelings towards the different types of ads related to fashion for example the advertisements degree of the shock factor.
With today’s advertisement’s many of us are creating a sexual tolerance to what is seen, making it more acceptable, taking advertisement to a higher degree with sex. We could say this is making it more of a challenge for the advertiser to get the attention of their audience, heightening the degree of sexual imagery within the promotion of the product.
I plan to utilise different analyses on different types of fashion magazines and see how each magazine has portrayed their women differently in appearance. The extremes of advertisement influence the different expectations of appearance physically, especially with the portrayal of the sexual figure.
Are the media benefiting or the viewer? The issue of the overload of culture is loosing our personal thought. Advertising has shown to be the most powerful tool to promote brands. Clever advertising has shown to target a particular audience through controversial ways in order to get their audiences attention. Are we as a society allowing advertisements, unaware of the consequential impact? This could effect our future generation becoming brought up on explicit, yet legitimate advertising. What kind of morals will these people of the future have, if any?
But it isn’t just the younger age groups who have become affected by media influences the older generations have been subjected to it too.
This relates back to my main focus of how superficial we have become, stuck in this theory of ‘surface’, no depth. I will also define “Superficial”
For my third chapter I wont to investigate the pressure on the age generation, becoming disillusioned with the need to meet the demand of this cult of beauty.
What levels people would go to how it mentally is affecting our idea of the norm.
This need for eternal youth to reach fulfillment is a cause of concern with the obsession of our society being pressured in to these easy answers of cosmetic necessities. How superficial it’s all become, this idea ‘surface’ has now become the main importance
In my conclusion I hope to conclude my question of who is benefitting the media or the viewer?
I plan to support my investigation through collecting my own Primary research:
-My own making of ads -observing and getting peoples responses, in order to understand what makes a good advertisement and how other influences associated with the advertisement effect the response of the viewer.
-Face book forum/ survey- in response to selection of ads
-Interview magazines / pr companies -with what they think is their ideal of an advertisement, in order to promote brands and draw attention
To support my own research I will look in to different media resources such as book and articles as well as the Internet. I shall plan to record my research with a use of a blog.