Kardashian Studies Analysis

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Women’s Studies Issue Analysis
School number: 919
SACE Number: 878562L

“A girls gotta do what a girl’s gotta do” – Kris Jenner, mother of the Kardashian Family

How do the Kardashian’s reinforce traditional female gender roles and what are the consequences.

The Kardashian’s reinforce traditional gender expectations with their influence on contemporary society and its portrayal of appropriate behaviours through the voyeuristic notions of reality television. The members of the family appear on the front covers of magazines, gossip columns, television cameos and countless spinoffs of ‘Keeping up with the Kardashian’s’. Academic Amanda Scheiner McClain believes that “media shapes our understanding of gender” with models for each gender.
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Albert Bandura has proposed the importance of social cognition theory, “learning socially accepted behaviours by observing them from their peers.” . Girls aged 12-14 years old begin to watch shows that pit women against each other such as Victorious, Wizards of Waverly Place, and Modern Family. These programs are on family networks, yet their subliminal messages transition to watching similar programs, like Keeping up with the Kardashian’s, The Real Housewives and The Bachelor as they transition to adulthood. Moss suggests the lack of female representation in multimedia has lead to the impression that women don’t talk to each other for ‘catty’ reasons. Academics Gerding and Signorielli believe that social cognitive theory, is a strong aspect of gender role learning to tweens as they are old enough to watch television actively and selectively. The superficial notion of the women in the above shows explains the ‘girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do’ contradiction that pits women against each other to impress the male protagonists. The shows that have women as the central character aim to promote empowering notions of ‘sisterhood’ yet proceed in aggressive behaviours. The Kardashian’s show a paradox as each episode shows a fight between the sisters, over boyfriends, photo shoots or jealous behaviour and ends with a resolution. The…show more content…
The consistent reinforcement of idealised beauty and female competitiveness reinforces patriarchal notions and representations of women. The Kardashian family are crucial to continuing these notions as they continue to influence and appear in many other facets of everyday life outside of their reality shows demographic reinforcing traditional gender roles and behaviours for women, continuing traditional patriarchal gender

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