Women are a great figure in the society especially thinking about their role in the day to day life. It would, therefore, be incorrect to say that women are different from men in the contest of how they think and carry themselves. With globalization that has come up with a lot of requirements for professionals, women have been seen competing with men in different specialization throughout the globe. A woman can be analyzed depending on how men and other women think about her and not basically the way she acts in the real world. In this contest, one can basically use photography to understand what women stand for in the society. This research seeks to understand whether women have a strong image in the society or not.
Berger, John. Ways of Seeing. United States: Penguin Books Limited, 2008.Print
According to Berger (24), the women presence in the society is represented differently from that of a man. In his book, ‘ways of seeing”, he tries to point out a woman’s presence in the world as being related to itself rather than what she can do or the world itself. In this context, a woman is seen not to been pictured in what she can do in the world but rather what cannot be done to her. It is now very clear that the woman is there to take care of the man. Female are said to be self-conscious and concentrating so much on their performance; this describes the complexity in the sense of a woman’s tendency to imagine and survey herself thus dividing her identity between herself and the person examining her. This brings to us the light that a woman is mainly analyzed according to what she thinks about herself, what other people think about her and in the contest of how men perceive her (Berger 56).
Men survey women prior to relating to them and the consequences of this measuring conclude their relations to a woman. As a result, all of women’s dealings and appearances are indications of the style/manner in which they would like to be treated by other people within the society. This can further be illustrated by the theory of attraction which elaborate that human beings can and will always try to attract a situation that favor them or make them live comfortably. This means that a woman’s events point to the way she would like to be observed, differing to men’s actions which are just actions with different interests. According to Berger, one can simply say that men’s acts will always be towards what they feel while women’s acts will always appear like what they feel or what they actually are. Women perceive themselves based on how other people looked at them. This brings us to the conclusion that women objectify themselves as a subject of how they are perceived by other people and therefore this explains Beger’s meaning of the title “Ways of Seeing” – fundamentally meaning that there are dissimilar perspectives of seeing women.
In his book, Beger has shed enough light on the different ways of analyzing a woman and how this differs from how to analyze a man. His book can, therefore, be placed as one of the important material in understanding the female image in the society as from its diversity advantage. Beger’s book should, however, try and give some examples that would break down the complexity in a female’s image in the society (Berger 140).
Prown, Jules David and Kenneth Haltman. American artifacts: essays in material culture. Michigan: Michigan State University Press, 2000.Print
For a very long time, most of American material culture has been trying to study the things people do and how they do them. Prof Jules is one of the people who have been in the fore front in this expedition by highlighting the question of the material world. The authors begin the book with introductory essays. This can help one understand cultural information especially that which would give a better understanding of the female image in the society. The authors try to elaborate about style as evidence and mind in matter. He explains that the manner or style in which something is done or even made is of great importance even in the unselfconscious. The authors go ahead in explaining the book’s contents through unbiased observation, inference, speculation and finally logical interpretive study (Prown and Haltman 62).
The authors have been able to do this through maintaining the investigations on cultural predilections without negotiating on honesty and contaminating the work of art. Each process is well explained and elaborated, therefore, meeting the qualification of taking even the smallest details into account as it should happen when explaining culture. This resulted in artistic collectiveness, as well as, historical and sensible use of many items. Through these authors’ works, one can understand the logic through which he/she needs to picture importance women in the society. Women in many cases have turned to be assets that men need in order to have a balanced lifestyle. Men should, therefore, view women as a resource that complements their lives and make sure that this sinks in their conscious (Prown and Haltman 97).
Smith, Shawn Michelle. American Archives: Gender, Race, and Class in Visual Culture. United States: Princeton University Press, 1999.Print
In his book, Smith brings together the changes in construction of different classes, gender and race to the developments that come with photography. She goes ahead to describe how photography and the science of biological racialism helped in understanding how Americans look like. This helps in our study of understanding the female image in the society in the sense that how women look at themselves will eventually describe their real image in the society. The author has tried to explain the emergence of the middle class, and how it relates to the construction of women and men and how protective it is to the privacy and privilege in how this two gender access the class. Smith further links developments to the upcoming of biological theories of race that must have contributed to the development of the middle class based on whiteness (Smith 42).
Smith further elaborates through some photographic archives and some American literature, how family albums and early photographs influenced race science. According to the book, it is so evident how different occupations over the two gender, class race and American personality contributed in making a wide range of photographs; therefore, depicting the female image in the society as equally important in the sense that it compliments man, as well as the society at large. In her book, Smith demonstrates that as the body was variously placed and definite, the image of the middle class was always held up as the most absolute American ideal. By studying gendered images of the middle-class, she disposes feminine transformation to blood character and race. In this book, Smith show how the white male look seek to describe the white women depicting that the female image in the society is more of what men see about it and not basically what the female gender think or do in the society. The author also offers some information on image culture, feminism and critical race theory. The book is otherwise seen to have a limitation in explaining the female image in the society. Instead, it adds on how practices of racialized gazing, how aspects of American look were initiated and how this relates to culture (Smith 147).
Barthes, Roland. Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography. Paris: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010.Print
In his job, the author has tried to show a new perspective and consciousness through the use of photography. He has come up with an altogether new picture of images and representations through which one can rate photography and understand the sense in it. Through the essentials of emotion and focus in photography, he is capable of explaining the history of looking. This is very important to the subject of study because one can get a clear picture of how to look at women in the society. The essential nature of this photography can be understood through looking at the photographic image as something that has been there for a long time. It is difficult to denounce the fact that women have also been there since time in memorial and that understanding their image in the society call for the embrace of their existence (Barthes 45).
For us to distinguish between what sets photography from all other sources of information representation, it is important to detect its uniqueness. Through photography, it is possible to repeat some sense that would otherwise be impossible through other means of communication since it deals more with the event and cannot be transformed to stand for something deferent. It is true that in the current society, the image of women cannot really be substituted with many of the things that human beings cherish starting from the tender care of women; mother care along taking responsibilities. Women cannot be excluded from the society by whatsoever means since it is what they are that makes them important and not what they do for the society. The author explains this by illustrating what someone would tell his friend when holding his picture, “that this is me and not this is a picture of me”. According to the author’s version of the real, the picture is unclassifiable since it does not have language that is with no cipher or inscriptions; it simply is what it stands for. As a matter of fact, the object, for which a picture is taken, is like rendered dead in person or dispossessed of itself. Through this, one can learn how women are inseparable to the society and the reason why there is the need to understand their image in the society for purposes of clarity (Barthes 102).
Barthes was able to realize a co-presence of elements that are discontinuous through a numerous assessment of photographs. He realized some communalism in some of the characteristics in some photographs. He characterized communalism into arena meaning the scope of different meanings that will be noticeable to everyone. It also shows that image is self-contained and unified in its meaning. This implies that the meaning is easily visible and that one can realize it with minimal effort or thinking. The other type of meaning that is explained is the punctum, which carries a strongly private meaning. This meaning is abruptly predictable and easily remembered. The punctum meaning is not easy to describe in the normal language and basically it attracts the viewer’s attention. These meanings of a picture can be likened to the female image in the society. That for some of a woman’s attraction, everyone, can easily tell although some of her image remains special to the viewer and different persons may perceive it differently depending with their interest. Her punctum attraction will always be remembered in the brain of the viewer explaining the importance of the female image in the society (Barthes 57). Roland Barthes’ book can be rated as being of great relevance to this study now that it seeks to shed some light in understanding the image of female in the society. The book seeks to reflect an ontological approach of photography rather than majoring on the social and formal aspects of photography. The book is so clear on the aspect that a photograph’s image is more from the subject and; therefore, it describes the subject itself, and therefore the image of women in the society. The author seeks much in understanding the emotions one might feel before seeing pictures.
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