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

To what extent to today's television advertisements conform to or challenge traditional gender roles?

Extracts from this document...


To what extent to today's television advertisements conform to or challenge traditional gender roles? The way in which men and women are portrayed (in this case through advertising) is called gender representation. When examining the different ways in which men and women are represented, the concept of gender roles comes into view. The traditional role of a woman is 'housewife' or 'mother' and the role of a man is the 'bread winner' or 'working male'. When referring to these traditional gender roles, stereotyping is another aspect that often appears. Stereotyping is very powerful and advertisers often use it in their commercials. This is because it is a very strong and effective tool. This is because it leads to quick thinking and can often help a product to stick in your mind. These stereotypes can be so discreet that we often do not unconsciously realise they are there. Advertisers are very clever in hiding stereotypes and also in making them acceptably obvious. Many ads use clear stereotypes but we are so clouded by the product that again we are oblivious to them. ...read more.


The man as the 'earner' and the woman merely as his 'errands girl'. The male celebrity goes on to order his assistant to buy presents for all his celebrity friends. The woman is 'the shopper' while the man provides the money for the presents. The ad ends with the celebrity buying himself a bright, fast, expensive sports car, which the woman had thought, was brought for her. Silly mistake. This entire ad contains traditional gender roles but it has to be looked at a little deeper to realise. The second ad is for a Vauxhall Corsa. In this advert a group of cars are playing hide and seek. One of the cars is counting, while the others hide. The counter is a man as is the voice over. There is also a young boy featured in the ad. But no women feature anywhere. The ads target audience is obviously men. Researchers have discovered that adverts aimed at boys or men are often fast paced, contain bright colours and have quick shot changes whereas ads aimed at girls or woman tend to be slow paced, with pastel/neutral colours and often have smooth, flowing shot changes. ...read more.


Advertisements are there to sell a particular product but also they act as a break between or during programmes. As viewers we need this period to be a break from stereotypes also. Children often imitate people they see as a role model, a person who is a big part of their life. As strange as it sounds television can be just as big a part of a child's life as their family is. This is not necessarily a bad thing as many of the programmes kids watch on TV are educational and have the ability to have a child's full attention. When I programme ends or has a break half way through, the child is still completely focused on what is on the TV screen so it is so important for adverts to be a learning experience too not crammed full of gender stereotypes. If gender equality is going to be achieved we need to develop this concept from a young age, while the mind of a child is still learning. Advertisers have a duty to do this for two reasons. Firstly because it is a positive way to take advantage of the power they behold and secondly because its something that should have been done along time ago. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology 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 GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Changes in Family Roles

    It still babysits for children if needed and helps out as much as it can. Also, they believe this is because there are other ways that they can now keep in touch with each other such as telephone calls and emails.

  2. Gender advertising

    Because my central contention is that there has been a shift in Indian public discourse, I will turn to history to illustrate an earlier discourse from where the shift has taken place. Indian nationalist thought was a curious mixture of disparate ideologies and world views, possible perhaps only in the tragic sites of colonized countries.

  1. In what ways is the concept of gender useful in the study of ancient ...

    6 In comparison, if the cult of Artemis and Athena portrayed ideal female virtues that were affable for their role in the 'polis', then the cult of Theseus represented ideal virtues for the Athenian male citizen. He was the archetypal male hero, as he saved Athens and slaughtered the Minotaur.

  2. To Conform or not to Conform; do we really have a Choice!

    All these facts show how ordinary he is and in turn sets an analogous tone for the reader, depicting that his life is vary routine. Afterall, "in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was a saint/ [and] severed the Greater Community," although it is doubtful he was aware

  1. "How and to what effect does Elementals rewrite traditional forms of fairytale, myth and ...

    Apart from the centralisation of female characters, other features in Elementals involve Byatts attention to not just intricate detail but the inclusion of foreign or continental communication. For instance, French phrases frequently seem to appear, obviously a lot more when the story is set abroad, e.g.

  2. To what extent would you explain gender differences in terms of gender socialization?

    selling household products and cosmetics while men selling luxurious cars, mobile phones and high technology products. Sometimes, Many advertisements even promote the product being user-friendly by saying that "Even housewives know how to use it!" They unconsciously convey a message to the public that women are intelligently inferior to men.

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