I am going to look into the presentation of men, focusing mainly on the representations that are portrayed in chat shows. My sources of research are going to be Television shows in particular, but also the Internet and Books. I have chosen two Television shows that I am going to look at closely, these are ”The Jeremy Kyle Show” and “Maury”. I have decided that this is the best possible way of being able to look at the actions, thoughts and representations of men because of the wide range of information that I will be able to collect.
I am expecting to find that men are presented in a negative light compared to women and that they are rude, arrogant and do not care about what is going on within the world around them this is mainly due to the stereotypical view presented within other media. The two chat shows both present men in away that suggests to the audience that men are unreliable, untrustworthy and uncaring. First impressions of men are that they are untidy wearing messy clothing, appearing not to have made an effort, they walk onto the stage as if they have done no wrong doing and hold their heads up high.
The presenters of the shows soon allow the audience to know that this is not the ‘right’ image and attitude to have. ‘Jeremy Kyle’ and ‘Maury’ both show this, Jeremy states ‘this is all very sad and wrong’ directing this at the Nathan the main male in the problem, the audience are shown to already have been feeling such emotions. The host is always seen to support the women within the situation, who also always seem to come out on top.
Jeremy Kyle and Maury both use different tactics when presenting their shows, while Jeremy takes a hands on approach with his contestants, speaking to them, asking questions and making resolutions, Maury does the opposite and stands back and lets the guests make the drama and introducing the topic and problems, keeping adding detail. The ‘Maury’ show links very well to ‘The Jerry Springer’ Show in the way the show is laid out. They have sets of guests, one person coming out first to reveal their side of the story- this is usually the stories that the audience believe and stick too.
This is also usually normally the guest who is actually telling the truth and has requested to appear on the show, this guest tends to be female. Dyer (1982) said that 1 ‘women are shown as very feminine … and men in situations of authority and dominance over women’ within the media, this is much apparent within the Jeremy Kyle Show with one particular couple, in which the man (Nathan) goes out to work and leaves his girlfriend (Zel’s) at home with their child with a weekly allowance for herself, she is expected to be the ‘perfect housewife’ cooking, cleaning and providing a loving relationship.
Through this authority and dominance, the men presented within the shows are presented as liars and cheaters, Brendan tells different stories to different women and he also contradicts himself in the show. He explains one point to the host and later on then changes his story. In the “Maury” show there is not usually shown to be a ‘family’ setting, however when one does appear, the women/mother/wife is left at home to look after the home, child and husband whilst the male figure goes out to work and earns the money this is shown within Brians story.
Both shows link together very well with each other on the matter of men and women and their roles that they present within the home. The roles presented by the guests are very traditional where the man is shown to be the breadwinner and the women is the house wife. Relationships in the family are very important, and one that is brought up a lot within the two chat shows.
Jeremy Kyle believes that the family is a very important factor of life, ‘proper’ relationships which men and women should have with their children”2 is what Jeremy is trying to promote. When he is faced with a guest who doesn’t shares his opinions in a very round about way. Brendan lies to all of his family members, keeping secrets from his first family and his second. Brendan stays back stage the majority of the show; he doesn’t wish to sit with his children and would rather stay out of the lime light.
Within the ‘Maury’ show a nuclear family is not recognized and Maury doesn’t present the ideal family life, he doesn’t particularly present his own views and feelings, this allows him to take a back seat within his show and let the guests discuss and present their own opinions, this creates more drama for the audience because they are able to present their own feelings without knowing if they are ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. This is shown with Thomas’s story (on the ‘Maury’ show), he is the father of Mel’s baby but he refuses this responsibility, he cheats on his girlfriend with her best friends and leaves his girlfriend with their new born child.