Content analysis final proj


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Content analysis final proj

  1. 1. Looking at a recent issue of Cosmo, I was left feeling like the whole magazine was putting modest women down and making sex and beauty appear to be the only way to get a guy. That led me to want to look at the content of this magazine a little closer.Thursday, April 26, 12
  2. 2. Has Cosmopolitan magazine turned women into a sexualized object instead of acting as a source of advice and entertainment for the majority of women? It is important as a professional in the field of communication to understand the affect of your content on society. Cosmo certainly provides and ideal women, and readers are encouraged to convey in themselves the messages that this magazine is channeling.Thursday, April 26, 12
  3. 3. Cosmopolitan magazine has been around since 1886, making it one of the oldest magazines in print. Like the rest of the world, Cosmo changed greatly over time. It began as a publication that consisted of popular women’s fiction and advice columns. It appealed to the majority of middle class working women and provided dating tips to help these woman find the right guy. The magazine took on the assumption that their readers were single working women. Today, Cosmo’s audience is mainly married women. Its content focuses on ways to spice up relationships and inform women of the qualities and characteristics that men like the most. The magazines monthly publications are gushing with sex tips and stories, and provides ways for women to look their best and increase their men’s desire for them. Women are being objectified on almost every page on this publication, whether it is in an advertisement or an article itself.Thursday, April 26, 12
  4. 4. Benefits of my research: In the 1900’s, cosmopolitan magazine ran into trouble with funding and readers and decided it needed to make some changes to get more copies sold. These changes led to the Cosmo that is in circulation today. Literary sources explained the reasons for these changes, and the results of these changes, but it did not show them. My research will provide me with visuals of todays Cosmopolitan experience.Thursday, April 26, 12
  5. 5. My Expectations: Based on the information I found from other sources, I expected to find a lot of articles about how woman should look and behave for their men. I expected a large focus on beauty and sex, and little content varying from that. I believe that my research will show how highly sexualized Cosmo has become, as well as many ads about how to be the ideal woman, sharing products that can help you accomplish the overall image. I believe that I will find that this magazine demonstrates how women can become objects for men to fantasize about instead of teaching woman how to be respected and courageous. There is also a part of me that expects the amount of sexualization in the magazine to be less than described in past research because of the rising popularity of feminism and women’s lack of appreciation for being objectified.Thursday, April 26, 12
  6. 6. What method will work well for my research? CONTENT ANALYSIS It is a great method to use for subjects in the media. I am looking for what the magazine is composed of, what is in the content and what the content is saying which is essentially the definition of a content analysis.Thursday, April 26, 12
  7. 7. More about the method of Content Analysis: A content analysis is a way of breaking down the content of something into categories in order to better analyze it. It also provides you with quantitative information about the content being analyzed.Thursday, April 26, 12
  8. 8. For a content analysis, one must use operational definitions. An operational definition is a definition that tells you how the content you are analyzing is being classified. Operational definitions use operations and indicators to define terms. For this research project I will use the following operational definitions: Advertisement: Pages selling products, for the purpose of this project I counted the advertisements by pages; if an ad took up a three page spread, I counted it as three pages of advertisements instead of just one advertisement. Sexually Charged Images: Images with male and female physical contact, women wearing only under garments or clothing resembling under garments, women posing in provocative positions (leg spread, laying down, making breasts the central focus of the photo). Beauty Products: products that can be used to alter natural body appearance. Included in this category were diet pills, lotions, perfumes, and make-up. Political/literary/inspirational content: these three categories I grouped together simply because they were virtually nonexistent in this magazine, but are important as a category in women’s magazines. This category consists of current issues such as birth control and abortion; important, inspirational, or popular books and novels that are often talked about in women’s magazines; and educational articles telling inspirational stories from peers, another really popular part of women’s magazines.Thursday, April 26, 12
  9. 9. How I went about doing my research: I created categories of topics popular in the majority of women’s magazines as well as topics that are true to all magazines. I flipped through the magazine time after time counting, recording, reading and observing images. After finding which categories were the most surprising and relevant, I edited my categories further until I thought they well represented my findings in the magazine. My categories can be found in the next slide.Thursday, April 26, 12
  10. 10. Category # of Pages % of total Total # of Pages 259 100 # of Pages with Women 163 62 # of Pages containing talk of sex 45 17 # of pages With Ads 124 40 # of pages with beauty ads 94 36 # of Pages with women in sexually charged poses 93 36 # of pages with men in sexually charged poses 11 4 # of pages with political, literary, or inspirational content 4 1Thursday, April 26, 12
  11. 11. My analysis showed that almost half of the magazine was composed of sexually charged images and articles. Sexually Charged Image or Discussion Other Content 43% 57%Thursday, April 26, 12
  12. 12. Some of the articles advertised on the cover included: “Feel Great Naked” and “The Sex Issue” and “Sex Questions.” Inside of the issue you find more headings “Packing Heat,” an article that explores sexual relationships with co-workers. “Makeup men find irresistible” a four page spread that gave men’s opinions on how they like women to do their makeup and what they think looks the most attractive on women. “Strike the pose that drives men wild” explores a pose that ‘scientists’ say turns on men the most. “Look sexy from head to toe” a small section containing tips to make clothes highlight the ‘sexiest’ parts of a women’s body. “The innocent habit that hurts your hubby” a column that points out how guys are hurt when women talk about how they find other men attractive, but dismisses the fact that men are just as guilty of this habit. “How not to attract a dude” things that some women do that are a turn off to men. These articles that take up a good portion of the magazine do nothing but teach women how to make men happier. There is nothing about how to make women feel good. This puts a lot of pressure on women to be perfect so that men will be attracted to them and love them. What these articles fail to mention are how important it is that women feel free to express themselves and it does not offer any hope as far as how to get men to bend over backwards to make women happy.. Women are definitely being objectified in a sexual sense in this magazine.Thursday, April 26, 12
  13. 13. Advertisements in Cosmo Percent of pages with Advertisements Pages with other content Out of the total pages 48% 52% with ads (124), 76% of those ads were for Beauty Products, 36% of the whole magazine.Thursday, April 26, 12
  14. 14. Even advertisements that were not for women’s clothing or cosmetics used women’s bodies to sell products.Thursday, April 26, 12
  15. 15. What I found: Cosmopolitan Magazine is largely focused on turning women into perfect objects of sexual desire for men. The magazine puts a large focus on putting a lot of energy into making your man happy and looking and behaving in a way that is attractive to him. Cosmopolitan magazine does not spend a lot of space discussing political issues, women in positions of power, stories of women being taken advantage of, or advice on anything other than sexual relationships like other women’s magazines. Although Cosmo is a very popular magazine, it is not spreading any encouragement for women to be anything other than sexual objects. The small part of me that believed that Cosmo’s current issues may give into an increasing feminist movement was completely blown out of the water as soon as I looked at the cover and table of contents. It is clear that Cosmo is a magazine with a particular style that they are sticking with.Thursday, April 26, 12
  16. 16. Sources: Issue-580x788.jpg / imgres?q=cosmopolitan+magazine +1900&hl=en&biw=1256&bih=618&gbv=2&tbm=isch&tbnid=xpQ717t3QqcFkM:&imgrefurl=http:/ / / heidstress/fishcover_21.jpg&w=376&h=500&ei=ui- XT4ncBOnw0gHHrrXYDg&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=449&sig=107381193148217088927&page=1&tbnh=126&tbnw=95&start= 0&ndsp=25&ved=1t:429,r:22,s:0,i:115&tx=39&ty=60 Feminist Media Studies; Sep2009, Vol. 9 Issue 3, p267-283, 17p McMahon, Kathryn. Journal of Sex Research, Aug90, Vol. 27 Issue 3, p381-396, 16p Gupta, Antoinette E.; Zimmerman, Toni S.; Fruhauf, Christine A.. Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy, 2008, Vol. 7 Issue 3, p248-266, 19p, 1 ChartThursday, April 26, 12