Let’s face it, there are just some things you don’t expect to see men doing…
And some things that seem completely natural for a man to be doing…
But what makes one set of actions acceptable, while the other is considered taboo? Why is it normal for a man to play football, but strange for him to knit? Stark defines socialization as: “The process by which culture is learned and internalized by each normal member of society- much of which occurs during childhood.”
Much of our socialization comes in the form of media. TV Shows Movies Commercials Internet Magazines All play a role in socializing us.
Media play a large role in socialization due to the great amount of media exposure we receive. The average American watches more then 4 hours of TV a day. That’s 28 hours a week! 2 months of TV watching a year!
By age 20, the average American will have seen 1 Million commercial messages. There were 603 movies released to Theatres in 2007.
With all the media around us, it’s impossible for it to have no effect. Much has been said about the influence of media on women’s socailzation.
Though it’s talked about less, the media have a strong influence over the socialization of men as well. This can be demonstrated by a number of easily identifiable typologies we are all familiar with.
We all know one, it started with James Dean and evolved from there. Today the look is different, but the attitude remains. They’re the “Bad Boys,” outsiders who don’t care.
They can be found on the covers of magazines. On the radio and in music stores. On TV In movies With so many rebel role models who make being bad look so good, it’s no wonder young boys choose to follow in their footsteps and become rebels themselves.
The rebel is not a typology unique to the US. Just check out this insurance commercial from the Netherlands. It plays on common perceptions about rebels, which you will find are very similar to our own. I apologize if anyone is offended by the brief nudity. http://veryfunnyads.com/ads/25504.html
The cape is no longer required, but every little boy wants to be a super hero. As those little boys grow up they find many other heroes, who are just regular guys to emulate.
Movies and comic books aren’t the only source of heroes for men to emulate. Sports of all levels offer role models.
Television is ripe with men in the “hero role.”
Since 9-11 the media have been giving the “real” heroes a lot of attention.
Even the music industry has gotten in on it. Follow this link to the music video for the song which has been playing for this segment. It provides a good example of a man being an every day hero. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bReVwemN5iE
All they guys want to be one, all the girls want to meet one, it’s no wonder the hero is such a sought after typology. Ask almost any little boy what he wants to be when he grows up, and chances are his answer will fit the hero typology.
He goes by a lot of names: Casanova, Lady’s Man, Player. He falls into many other typologies, but what sets him apart is… He always gets the girl.
The Casanova comes in many forms, he may be selling jeans, telling his love story on the pages of a book, singing to his love and millions of fans , or wooing his love on the big or small screen. In one medium or another, Casanova always gets the girl. While this may seem like the ideal typology to some young men, it is often distorted and can lead to womanizing.
With all the technology available to us, it’s no wonder typologies are becoming more universal. Check out this Italian add for a sports drink. The protagonist is the classic “Player.” He gets the girl, and then some. http://veryfunnyads.com/ads/25821.html
Click here to meet our 4 th typology. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beu2ykHjJ2M
We all know one, the guy who sits in the back of class and makes jokes, or your favorite comedian.
These funny men can be found in movies, selling a variety of products, and on TV every day. It feels good to get a laugh, so it’s no wonder this typology draws so many men to itself. Who wouldn’t want to have fun like these funny men appear to be having all the time?
These are just a few of the typologies for male socialization.
There are many more typologies, but by examining these four, the media’s role in socialization becomes evident. There is no doubt that media are all around us, and they provide templates for men to follow when choosing their actions. With ever expanding technology these typologies are becoming more and more universal.
Burn Energy Drink: the Morning . 2007. Very Funny Videos . 16 Mar. 2008 <http://www.veryfunnyads.com/index.html?id= 25821>. Centraal Beheer: Motorcycle . 1994. Very Funny Ads . 13 Mar. 2008 <http://www.veryfunnyads.com/index.html?id= 25504>. Friends-Chandler . Perf. Matthew Perry. 2007. Youtube . 15 Mar. 2008 <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beu2ykHjJ 2M>. Hero/Heroine . Perf. Boys Like Girls. 2007. Youtube . 16 Mar. 2008 <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bReVwe mN5iE>. Herr, Norman. "Television and Health." The Sourcebook for Teaching Science (2007). Jackson, comp. Socialization and Mass Media . June 2007. 11 Mar. 2008 <http://www.slideshare.net/Jackson/socializatio n-and-mass-media/>. "Research and Statistics." Motion Picture Association of America . 13 Mar. 2008 <http://www.mpaa.org/researchStatistics.asp>.