Stereotypes of Men in Advertisements Essay

2022 Words 9 Pages
Stereotypes of Men in Advertisements

Visual representation of reality, as seen through mass media, is acknowledged by sociologists to be influential in shaping people's views of the world. Our everyday realities are articulated mostly by what we see in the media. The role of advertising in this interpretation of reality is crucial. The target audience's self-identification with the images being a basic prerequisite for an advertisement's effectiveness, makes advertising one of the most important factors in the building of behavior models and values systems. The way a certain notion is managed at a visual level determines how people will perceive this notion and whether they will identify with it or not. Meaning is encoded in the
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I intend to look at these ads as a group of 20, looking at collective similarities among them and any common stereotypes and themes in the way these ads portray men. I also intend to examine any general differences between the ads fro the men's magazines, and those from the women's magazines, as well as differences along product lines.
I expect to see reinforcement of the stereotypes discussed in Denise Kervin's study as well as the stereotypes delineated by other authors cited in this paper. I expect that these reinforcements will occur as much as, but in a different way than is seen earlier in time as discussed in the various literature cited in this paper. I also expect that these stereotypes will be equally present, yet will manifest themselves differently depending on the target audience and product being pitched.
Dominant discourses surrounding gender encourage us to accept that the human race is 'naturally' divided in to male and female, each gender realistically identifiable by a set of immutable characteristics. In Foucault's terms, relations of difference are social constructs belonging to social orders that contain hierarchies of power, defined, named and delimited by institutional discourses, to produce social practices. "Gender differences are symbolic categories" (Saco, 1992:25). These categories are used to ascribe certain characteristics to men
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