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Lecture 14

Sociology 2172A/B Lecture 14: Gender and Advertising, Children and Advertising
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Department
Sociology
Course
Sociology 2172A/B
Professor
Gale Cassidy
Semester
Winter

Description
Sociology of Advertising: Advertising and Gender Gender Portrayal in Advertising: • Men are dominant, aggressive, intelligent, strong, rational, active, women are feminine, submissive, weak, passive, intuitive, emotional, communicative • There are more differences among men and among women than there are between men and women (only real difference is physical strength) o Man Box: step of characteristics that men must adhere to (if you step out, you are challenged) o This is changing now; it is more acceptable for men to be sensitive and women to be dominant Advertising creates gender stereotypes: • Advertising sells normalcy; creates an image of the perfect woman or man • Less that 5% of the population actually looks like that (most of the images you are seeing aren’t even real, they are photoshopped and cropped together) • Advertising needs women to feel insecure about themselves or they will not generate more capital Representation of Women: • Tied to the home • Thin and beautiful • Feminine ideal • Subservient to men • Sex objects • Weak and vulnerable • Ranked as less functional: depicts women being associated with the home; men in executive roles and more functional when collaborating with women o Very few images of men in the home • Smaller in size than men: depicts men as taller and larger than women, except when women are clearly superior in social status (for example when race comes into it) • Ritualization of subordination: overabundance of images of women lying on floors and in beds or as objects of men’s mock assaults o Represents the hierarchical relationship between men and women in ads o The woman is in a vulnerable position • As frail and vulnerable: women are shown as being non-threatening • Objectified: women are “pieced up” • With a feminine touch: tendency to show women cradling and caressing the surface of objects with their fingers • Women are shown in childlike poses – tendency to infantilize women o Combining innocence with sexuality sends mixed messages, can be dangerous • As sex objects: tendency to show women in sexually provocative situation using phallic symbolism • In demeaning/violent positions o Promotes violence against women • Women with no voice: symbolically take away their voice (usually covering their mouth) Portrayal of Men: • Usually shown using or selling big ticket items (more so than women) such as cars • Narrows the definition of what it means to be a man; in charge, self-contained, often alone • Affluent, successful, confident, tough, strong, independent, secure in themselves New representation of men:
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