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Utilising one of the approaches to representation from the lecture programme analyse a media product How useful is this critical method In this essay I am going to investigate the feminist approach to the representation of women in the soap opera Television soap operas are long-running serials traditionally based on the close study of personal relationships within the everyday life of its characters Soaps are a consistent set of values based on personal relationships and on womens responsibility for the maintenance of these relationships The modern feminist approach to this predictable role of female characters is that it is a way of perpetuating the patriarchal ideology into its largely female unquestioning audience Feminist Deborah Rogers wrote I argue that the fragmentation of soap narrative form reinforces the status quo with respect to the nature of sex roles and of interpersonal relationships in a patriarchal culture She goes on to discuss the unquestioning audience Although the mixed messages of soap operas allow scholars to construct subversive readings actual viewers fail to respond in this manner p325 Rogers also discusses the difficulty feminists have in agreeing whether or not the soap opera should be celebrated only because it is a female genre when it is in fact potentially harmful The cumulative effect of introducing in a fragmented text messages that reconcile women to traditional female roles and relationships is to reinforce patriarchal cultural behaviour in a way that is difficult to identify during a typical - that is casual - viewing experience However Terry Lovell agrees that the soap opera is made with a patriarchal ideology but maintains that this may be of comfort to its female viewers Soap opera has a rather ambiguous relationship to patriarchal ideology it provides a context in which women can express both good humoured acceptance of their oppression and recognition of that oppression and some equally good-humoured protest against it108 If we look at
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