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Media Theory Revision Guide

All A level theorists covered alongside revision summaries and exam practise exercises.




My Revision

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Womans Realm

Proairetic and gender roles Woman's Realm


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Proairetic codes also can be found within Woman’s Realm, used to create appeal to audiences who, perhaps, are invested in an alternative set of ideals regarding femininity.

The image used on the cover of the magazine clearly offers readers a passive version of womanhood: the model’s conservative clothing and demure gesture codes signifying traditional femininity: a female ideal that older conserative readers of the period would celebrate.

These images, however, work in contrast to the representations created by the Australian sultana advert, wherein a woman is depicted surfing while holding a tray of food. Here, the model takes on a far more active presence in spite of the ad’s sexualisation of the model.

The use of a more proairetic image here constructs a deliberate appeal to those  readers who had begun to invest in the ideas of second wave feminism that were emerging at the time. 

By positioning the model in a more physically and ideologically active role, an alternative outlook akin to that embraced by Betty Freidan’s Feminine Mystique is fostered.

It could, however, be argued that the confused use of passive and active versions of femininity within the magazine ultimately results in a confused product that hints at the potential for female emancipation rather than fully embracing it. 

Indeed, the Sunsational model is still presented in a role of servitude, offering a tray to her male voyeur regardless of her active presence.

Second wave feminism

Beginning in the early 1960s, this movement outlined the problematic nature of social norms of the period - specifically those that restricted women to domestic/childrearing roles.

Media terminology used

Proairetic codes

Are 'action' based elements within a media text. Proairetic codes create excitement and produce moments of emotional intensity in stories.


An aspirational representation that constructs audience ideals, commonly used on magazine front covers as a selling tool. These depictions often advocate an impossibly perfect version of femininity.

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