Gender Roles In Advertising Analysis

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Advertising, as one of the television genres, is a prominent discourse type in society (Cook, 2005). Advertising through reflection, reinforces the idea that certain roles are ‘‘‘natural’’ for men and women (Hawkins & Coney, 1976). Kim and Lowry (2005) have argued that portrayals construct a specific portrait of reality and through repetition of these images, viewers adopt certain expectations about the world. This is in line with Cultivation theory which proposes that exposure to a particular view of the world in the media, gradually brings about the adoption of that world as reality (Fullerton and Kendrick, 2000).

On the other hand, there are those who argue that advertising mirrors what is present in society (Courtney & Whipple, 1983).
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However, during the 1980s some changes of gender role portrayals in US advertising from the past were reported in studies Sullivan and O’Conner(1988) replicated the Belkaoui and Belkaoui(1976) and Courtney and Lockeretz( 1971) studies, and found out that there had been an increase in the employment status of women portrayed in the 1983.
A cross-cultural comparison of female role portrayals in television advertising in the US, Australia and Mexico was carried out by Gilly (1988). She found certain types of stereotyping of the gender roles across the three countries to be consistent. According to her findings, men were more likely to be portrayed in independent roles in relation to women who were portrayed in a variety of stereotyped roles, such as wife, mother, and bride.
Wiles and Tjernlund (1991), another cross-cultural study examined men’s and women’s roles portrayed in magazine advertising in the US and Sweden. The results showed that US magazine advertisers were more likely than Swedish magazine advertisers to place women in decorative roles within the non- working role category. In contrast, Swedish magazine advertisers were more likely to depict women in recreational roles and family
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