Gender Advertisements Erving Goffman Summary

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As well as feeding off of the sources and material presented earlier in this paper, the analysis to come will also use Erving Goffman’s categorisation of gender to analyse how the women (and some men) are depicted on the front covers of Playboy and Good Housekeeping within said timeframe. In his study Gender Advertisements (Goffman, 1985), Goffman gathered hundreds of advertisements from magazines in various positions and poses and analysed poses and how they portrayed masculinity versus femininity. His way of analysing advertisement differentiates itself and makes a broader distinction of what is considered sexist or not, by showing much like the Heterosexual Script earlier on in the paper, what was considered appropriate roles for men and women.
In Goffman’s’ analysis of advertisements he suggests several variables used when analysing a depiction of both men and women. ‘Relative size’ suggests women are often positioned lower than a man, both in height and size, which can often also propose they are lower in both physical and social standard. ‘Feminine touch’ shows women carefully caressing an object, or even themselves by touch. Showing a clear distinction between the utilitarian grip men usually have, and the decorative touch women more often have. ‘Function Ranking’ is when there is often both a man and a woman, and at first glance they might seem to be executing a function, but at a closer look the woman is again more of a decorative part of the picture, looking at

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