Gender Identity In Disney Animated Movies

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While the simple notion of understanding the difference between sexes as a biological diversity, the other, more complicated understanding what is considered to be masculine or feminine has its roots in culture. There are many different definitions of what culuture is, but we perceive it as a particular way of life. Following what structuralists and post-structuralists call 'signifying practices', culture stands for texts and practices in the function of signifying, producing or to produce a meaning. (Storey, 1-2) Stuart Hall defined culture in more traditional way, as something that embodies the 'best that has been thought and said in a society'. “It is a sum of the great ideas, as represented in the classic works of literature, painting,…show more content…
This can be applied to Disney animated movies also. According to Brooks and Hébert, 'much of what audiences know and care about is based on the images, symbols, and narratives in radio, television, film, music, and other media. How individuals construct their social identities, how they come to understand what it means to be male, female, black, white, Asian, Latino, Native American – even rural or urban – is shaped by commodified texts produced by media for audiences that are increasingly segmented by the social constructions of race and gender' (2006, 297). With the portrayal of characters in their animated movies, this is exactly what Disney does. The ultimate goal is to encourage young girls and boys to identify with the personalities of Disney characters in order to sell the product. The behavior and physical appearance of Disney characters represent characteristics of gender roles which are thought of as conventions in our society, i.e. characters are typically masculine or feminine. The change of their characters leaning towards more androgynous appearance of male and female roles tells us how Disney is trying to adjust to social necessities and to what is popular on the market. In other words, 'advertising representations influence cultural and individual conceptions of identity, and must be understood as the result of changing social and cultural practices'.…show more content…
In their article about gender role portrayal in Disney animated movies England, Descartes and Collier-Meek have referred to the constructivist approach of Martin and Graves which proposes 'that children develop beliefs about the world based on their interpretations of observations and experiences, and therefore, viewing stereotyped or egalitarian depictions of gender roles will influence children's ideas about gender' (2001,
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