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|Title:||Situations of Viewing: Class, Gender and the Everyday Practices and Processes of Watching Television|
|Abstract:||<p>The gender and class one brings to viewing are factors in what meanings are generated by viewers and what modes of viewing they employ. I have attempted to get at this process from both sides, to investigate the impact of the viewer's class and gender on their viewing, but also to look at how class and gender are represented to these viewers. This research investigates the salience of class and gender to the viewing process among viewers who are also class and gender identified.</p> <p>The data collected for this research comprise four distinct sets: I) a background questionnaire, 2) participant observation during prime-time television viewing, 3) focus group interviews, and 4) individual interviews. The research participants were drawn from the student population of a large Canadian University located in Southern Ontario. These data are rich with insights into the process of viewing. There remains a paucity in the literature of research on male viewership and of comparative research on class, gender and viewership which utilizes both male and female research participants. My research addresses these gaps.</p> <p>There are essentially three chief fmdings of this research. First, there is a common conceptualization among the research participants of working-classness as something visible or notable, while middle-classness and the nuclear family are defmed as normal, despite not being the reality for a majority of actually situated viewers. Second, and related, is that working-class participants have a better developed and clearer understanding of structural class inequality than middle-class participants. Nevertheless, they express a desire to achieve a middle-class lifestyle as depicted on TV. Third, women reading women on TV were seen to both accept and reject these messages. There was an indication of both pressure to conform and protest against such impossible ideals of femininity. Men, on the other hand appear to accept ideal gender depictions on TV as unrealistic and unattainable and merely the province of fantasy.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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