Multiple Correspondence Analyses of Gendered Roles, Genre, and the Hollywood Reporter Top 100 Television Shows Across Three Time Periods

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Looking specifically at the gendered positions (squares), the first two analyses show that comedy is more highly correlated with all gendered roles. In the third picture, the gendered positions are no longer concentrated around comedy but are dispersed more evenly between comedy and drama.

If we look at the movement of drama specifically across the three analyses, we see it moves closer to the center and then crosses the dotted line in the third picture to be opposite of comedy. This suggests that drama has become equally significant as comedy over these three time periods. We can see the decline of comedy across the three periods as well. In the first picture, comedy is located well above the dotted line. In the second picture, it has dropped significantly and moved to the right before resting just above the dotted line in the third picture. If we look at other genres located near comedy, we see that these genres become less associated with comedy and more often are associated with dramas by period 3. Romance is the one genre associated with comedy that stays relatively stable between period 2 and 3, and it also happens to be where women are located in positions closer than men.

To me, these multiple correspondence analyses illustrate how drama has become a legitimate television genre from 1951-2013. This is most easily seen by focusing on the male and female producers. In period 1, male producers are much closer to comedy than female producers who are located approximately an equal distance from comedy and drama. Period 2, we see male producers move closer to drama than female producers albeit not by much. Female producers are located closer than men to romance, fantasy, and action during this time. By period 3, male producers have moved to a position where they are closest to all genres except comedy (which has been in decline) and romance.

Multiple Correspondence Analyses of Gendered Roles, Genre, and Television Shows from 1981 – 2000

Multiple Correspondence Analyses of Television Genres, Gendered Roles, and Shows from 1981 - 2000

Quality television from 1981 – 2000 still centered around comedy albeit drama had begun to gain influence during this time period which is evident from the shorter distance to other locations in the field. Family moved away from comedy somewhat. Men were more likely to produce the quality dramas as the distance is shorter to drama than for women. Action and fantasy were the two genres located most on the fringes. Comedies in general hire more writers while dramas hire more actors.

 Multiple Correspondence Analyses of Gendered Roles, Genre, and Television Shows from 1951 – 1980

Multiple Correspondence Analyses of Television Genres, Gendered Roles, and Shows from 1951 - 1980

Clearly comedy is central to the field of television from 1951 – 1980. Fantasy also had a central location in the field during this time with shows such as I Dream of Jeannie, Mork and Mindy, and Bewitched. All dramas during this time period had a location in the field where it was outside the norm as a quality television genre. Likewise, actors, producers, and writers of both genders were more likely to find work in comedy. Action and adventure were located on the extreme margins of the field.

Male actors were at the very center of the field about an equal distance from both comedy and drama. Female actors were not too far away, but they were more likely to work in comedy shows.

What is a dual queueing process?

The most fruitful model sees occupational composition as the result of a dual-queueing process: labor queues order groups of workers in terms of their attractiveness to employers, and job queues rank jobs in terms of their attractiveness to workers (Kindle Locations 426-428).

In whatever field or industry examined, the gender or racial composition of the individuals composing it are a result of labor queues. Everyone involved in the field ranks potential jobs. Let’s take television production.

Job Queues

Anyone with an idea for a show must look at potential channels that will air it. Some channels, like HBO, will rank high on everyone’s list. There is only so much programming that HBO can afford and that they need to comprise their schedule. Thus, there are more people who want their shows on HBO than it needs. HBO can be picky and choose only the best shows that are pitched. The individuals who are rejected by HBO must pitch their shows to another channel that ranked lower (less desirable) on their list of potential channels. The important point about job queues is that they result from the perceptions of potential employees (or show creators) concerning the status of a job (or channel). Everyone perceives Harvard as one of the best colleges in the U.S. Most people will not attempt sending in an application because the chances of being accepted are so slim. Harvard still has more applications than it could possibly admit, and this surplus in applications allows it to be choosy.

Labor Queues

Labor queues are different in that they reflect the perception by employers, organizations, television channels or even colleges of applicants. Back to the television example, HBO has certain criteria that will make it more or less likely to greenlight a show. Does the show creator have experience creating a show? Have they worked in film? Are they well known? What genre would the show be? Would it mesh well with other shows in the schedule? All of these questions determine whether HBO will even hear the pitch.

Harvard likely has a GPA that all applicants should meet because Harvard has decided that this GPA is indicative of college success. This GPA will drop lower and lower as the prestige of the school drops. All applicants to Harvard below that GPA are likely dismissed from the very beginning unless they have some redeeming attribute that Harvard weighs more than high school performance. Such attributes are being related to an alumnus or being the son or daughter of a U.S. senator. All the applicants who barely meet the GPA requirement are placed at the back of the queue and are the least desirable from Harvard’s perspective. The least desirable to Harvard will likely be seen as very desirable at their state university.

Dual Queues

The final composition of the labor market, television show creators, or college enrollment is the result of the interaction between perceptions of attributes. Queues result when the perceptions do not mesh. Let’s say I have a 2.0 GPA and perceive Harvard as a perfect fit for me. Harvard receives my application, and they perceive me as someone who is not disciplined nor dedicated to my performance in school. I may have worked very very hard for that 2.0 with a very structured study schedule. It won’t matter to Harvard because they don’t see a 2.0 applicant as having a high probability of success if enrolled. They also consider a 2.0 as academically inferior. Accepting my application would reflect poorly on Harvard and “water down” the high concentration of 4.0 students. This “watering down” would then be perceived by society and would be reflected in less qualified applicants perceiving Harvard as a possibility and applying. It would also be reflected in fewer 4.0 applicants wanting to go to Harvard. Harvard is able to maintain its status because it receives many more applications than it can admit, and these applicants are usually pretty well qualified.

 

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