CMN 3104: Reading #3 Jan 20th 2014
Man Up: Viewer Responses to Images of less than ideal males in Advertising
Sociologist Michael Kimmel (1996) has declared that masculinity proceeds from men’s bodies.
The ideal male image in advertising and other media portrayals, according to Kimmel, includes standards of
power and independence as well as qualities such as rugged individualism, adventurous spirit, risk taking,
displays of physical prowess and having a high degree of personal autonomy.
But what happens when the average guy confronts idealized images in advertising and perhaps realizes
that he cannot live up to such expectations.
Many men may become depressed and dissatisfied with their bodies.
Social comparison of lessthanideal images in advertising:
Specifically, what I have set out to do is to consider how men compare themselves with lessthanideal
images in television advertising, particularly when they are portrayed as cavemen, those lessthanideal
Viewing lessthanideal images make us feel better about ourselves:
Men who view advertisements in which they confront images of lessthan ideal men seem to feel that things
could be much worse.
In other words, the key figures in the commercials set the bar so low as to create a social environment in
which men find comfort.
When compared with the physical grotesqueness, public exposure and lack of manners portrayed by key
figures in some advertising, men feel a sense of relief that this was happening to them not me.
Social comparison theory is helpful in explaining the self enhancement that men experience as they
encounter advertisements that feature less than ideal men.
The utilization of a lessthan ideal image may serve the purpose of metaphorically “spreading the word”
about a new or emergent less than ideal masculinity an unintended consequence of advertising. As is the case with race and class, masculine gender identity takes on various cultural meanings and
significance. CMN 3104: Reading #3 Jan 20th 2014
How TV News makes Arabs and Muslisms feel about themselves:
Dina Ibrahim and Aymen Abdel Halim
Arab Americans and Muslims think and feel about the images and stories presented by the media about
their culture and faith.
Participants in a focus group explained how they think the news programming makes them feel about
themselves and their sense of identity.
The central principle of cultivation theory is that people learn how much of what they know from television.
Electronic media play a major role in how audiences achieve a common understanding of issues