• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

With reference to consumer advertising in magazines discuss the view that the mass media continue to reinforce gender stereotypes.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

With reference to consumer advertising in magazines discuss the view that the mass media continue to reinforce gender stereotypes. In order to approach the subject of advertising reinforcing gender stereotypes one has to examine and consider adverts as removed from 'real life' and not - as argued by Dyer- 'replacing distorted images with representations of people and situations as they really are. (Dyer, 1982, p14) In other words there is a tendency to look for a reality in adverts that may not exist. However for many commentators there is a definite subordination of women in advertising. An argument based on women being portrayed as sexual objects, domestic workers who are either heavily reliant on or are trying to capture a man. 'Indeed Goffman argues that there is a 'strong relationship between adverts and reality and if anything they reinforce our stereotypes'. (Goffman' 1979, p84) Nonetheless what is overlooked in this perspective is that women are not one homogeneous group, there is a variety of social backgrounds therefore diversity in how a particular advertisement is read. To help clarify these positions this essay will examine two approaches to the study of advertising, namely content analysis and semiology while at the same time encompassing the different codes and conventions followed by advertisers. However as a starting point it will be useful to look at the findings of some relatively recent research carried out by the Advertising Standards Authority and the Broadcasting Standards Commission, to examine the regulations covering advertising and gender/sexual stereotyping. ...read more.

Middle

By stating this Sumner is suggesting that as social beings we bring with us, in our interpretation of adverts certain values and belief systems- albeit learned- depending on social background resulting in an assumption that viewers are unable to see anything other than what is in front of them. It is true that advertisers would agree there exists within adverts a preferred reading, however that may not be how the viewer interprets it. This preferred reading also allows the viewer to disagree and possibly take offence at the message being promoted intentionally or otherwise. Another criticism aimed at this method, is that it assumes women are part of a homogeneous group and that they share a common idea of how women in particular should be represented in advertising. This criticism has also been levelled at feminist research and brings to the fore debates on positive imagery. However when considering feminist interpretations of gender stereotyping it is worth bearing in mind that although this movement wish to see a fairer more positive representation of women in advertising the question of whose ideology of fairness would be represented. Nonetheless being able to establish gender stereotyping within advertising is, as many commentators would argue going to take more than counting the times an image is represented. Indeed Leiss suggests that within content analysis of advertising 'the real weakness may lie in the use of denotative-what you see- measurement as opposed to connotation-what you infer-and its many levels of meaning', as used in many of today's picture adverts. ...read more.

Conclusion

Indeed akin to a hypodermic model whereby people are injected-metaphorically speaking- with information that does not get processed and comes out exactly as it went in. Gender stereotyping in advertising is therefore very subjective in that whatever way we measure and analyse the subject it must be stressed that we have the ability to disagree with any message that is conveyed by advertisers. Through the use of semiotics we can build up a picture of what is behind the images we are confronted with. By the same degree content analysis can give one the idea that the result is conclusive. However no method is perfect and in the same way it can be useful it can also be misleading as has been shown above. When one is also faced with the argument of ideology within advertising it is akin with all aspects of social life. It is true to say we follow rules and regulation in our every day social lives that may constrain some of our actions, in the same way that advertisers are constrained by bodies such as the BSC. However in the same way we are constrained, we are also protected by the same ideology, therefore we have some powers available to disagree with, contest and challenge messages or actions deemed unfair or stereotypical. As a result it is difficult to establish whether adverts reinforce gender stereotypes or if indeed we do that perfectly well for ourselves. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Advertisements section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Advertisements essays

  1. Do we control the media or does the media control us?

    The restrictions are mandatory and it is illegal for people under the age of the restriction to see the classified film. However everybody has different opinions on what is in good taste, what is acceptable sexual content and also people who aren't religious may find that blasphemy isn't that much of a problem.

  2. A study of the representation of women in magazine beauty advertisements, with close reference ...

    They are also praised for putting all the pieces of a female's life into one, at the ease of the reader. Some magazines also encourage hobbies, such as knitting and DIY, and should be valued in the magazine industry. Advertising is the most potent message in our culture.

  1. The History of AdvertisingTypes and Functions of AdvertisingAdvertising in mass media.Advertising agencyDomestic advertising

    The continuing cancer and antidrug abuse campaigns are only two examples of the use of the advertising industry as a means to promote public welfare. The basic underlying advertising idea is the idea of human needs. Need is the feeling of shortage of something experienced by the person.

  2. Zeneca's DTC Advertising of Nolvadex

    Also if they disclose the information regarding drug in more appropriate way then it could increase the physicians and patients trust towards drugs and they could develop successful DTC advertisement campaign. Conclusion Although Zeneca had used different marketing strategies and communications tools but they could have done their advertisement campaign in more appropriate way.

  1. Gender stereotypes in two adverts and how the US Government publicises its War on ...

    Setting is very quiet, calm, and softly glowing. In the following scene, the TV screen is filled with lively children running around and mom and dad chasing after them. Parents are busy keeping their eyes on children. The bathtub is filled with toys and the house is a mess.

  2. Marketing Media and Audience Feedback

    certain topics, but to obtain unique findings on the topic in which they will be provided. SECTION 1: ASSESSMENT OBJECTIVE 1 ANALYSE THE MARKETING MIX FOR EXISTING MEDIA PRODUCTS * Marketing mix: o Product - design/content o Price - retail, ticket, subscriptions, special offers o Place - distribution through retail

  1. New Criticism

    solely within the work itself, and attempts to understand the author's intention violate the autonomy of the work. The Affective Fallacy is the mistake of equating a work with its emotional effects upon an audience. The new critics believed that a text should not have to be understood relative to the responses of its readers; its merit (and meaning)

  2. Introduction to Semiotics and Communication - An Analysis of an Advertisement

    The general message sent out to the public by the ad is self-empowerment and independent thinking. The capitalization, larger font, and the differing direction of the word 'NEVER,' in relation to the rest of the phrase, helps to emphasizes a strong drive and resistance to a particular object or action.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work