Gender Portrayals in the Media A Semiotic Analysis of The Real Housewives of Orange County and Deadliest Catch

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This identifies a deviation from the traditional masculinity behavior that expects men to be more physical than verbal and the show therefore appear to criticize the existing gender framework and advocate for a less violent society. The power concept of the reality show however maintains the status quo and portrays the real power scopes in the society. Being a male oriented show, it is consistent with traditional construct in which social status, education and career, bragging, and ambition are social points of focus. Business and education is the most significant type of power, followed by social status, ambition and bragging while female characteristics that include manipulation and coercion, and gossip are less significant across all seasons of the reality show. Money concept is also significant across all seasons and is more prevalent than provision for basic needs that is more biased towards feminism. Physical strength also dominates the play while sexualization is a minor factor. Personality traits among crewmembers in the deadliest catch also identify significance of masculine features such as independence and emotional strength as compared to dependence and emotional weakness that is characteristic of the female gender. These traits therefore identify the series with a traditional mindset of a masculine society with reservation on violence and this identifies consistency with expectations of the theme of an anticipated reality in the society. Data on violence from the Real Housewives of Orange County also communicates traditional feminine non-physical traits through higher rates of verbal attacks than physical attacks. Traditional constructs of a male dominant society is also identifiable from significance of man to woman attacks as compared to woman to man and man-to-man attacks. Isolated data from season five stresses the women’s victimization in violence by men. Overall statistics on women also indicates significance of violence with personal attacks, hitting and punching and verbal attacks. Season 7 however identifies higher level of verbal attacks and like the Deadliest Catch series, the Real Housewives of Orange County demonstrates the traditional gender framework in which men are associated with more physical power than women are. The series however contradicts the violence concept of power by identifying significant violence from women. It therefore also demonstrates reality in traditional gender construct, but advocates for change in violence aspect of power. The two series therefore correspond to the hypothetical expectation of reality themes that may be exaggerated to convey idealism. Their concept of power is consistent with existing knowledge from literature though they are critical of gender-based violence. The research is however not comprehensive in its objectives as it fails to collect data for understanding how gender roles are developed in the shows. Diversifying the research scope to use a mixed research method, in which qualitative data would be collected from sociology experts, would be a more comprehensive approach. This would require application of ethnography research design to understanding the