Ms. Sivulka's chronicle, though compelling, is a bit dry with academic rigor. She refers to "cultural mediators" at one point and, in a discussion of the 1970s, cites the sociologist Erving Goffman. His book "Gendered Advertisements" is said to claim "that ads often portrayed women as subordinate to men involved in what he called the ritual of subordination, or physically placing themselves in some form of submissive position."
Are there bi-gendered advertisements?
With the rise of gender advertisements focused on men, there are some companies that have been bold enough to openly criticize men in their ads. Men are portrayed as unintelligent people who have been demoralized and compared to dogs. Critics have argued over the harmfulness of these, but...
Gendered Advertisements May Not Appeal To Millennials
Goffman is a representative figure of Sociology, especially for introducing the dramaturgical perspective in interpreting the symbolic interactions, best repesented in 1959 book, "The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life". In modern industrialized society, advertising is an important mean of socialising and it’s kept as an instrument to mentain certain social structures. It is believed that advertising transposes reality, exagerating the most important features and characteristics of society. Women and men are differentely described in attitudes, which are read through the body language of the participants. Men and women are ilustrated in advertisements the way they behave in their daily life. They make us understand what can be considered to be feminine or masculin. Through his work, "Gender Advertisements," first appeared in 1979, Erving Goffman manages to highlight the gender stereotypes that society has created through the issue of what we are in advertising displays. The book selects some of the times being advertising images and analises the positions in which both women and men are posing, their mimics and gestures. Opinions are divided on Goffmans interpretation, some say it can’t reflect the true views of society and its taking into account that these pictures and spots are made according to a set script. But in his defense, as Goffman says, that scenario is brought up as a result of the observation of society. Indeed, it is possible to be inspired by reality, but some interpretations may be slightly exaggerated. Goffman insists on advertising images considering the viewer a spectator who approaches those images in hope of finding a reflection of everyday life. We can say that the definition of a person, based on the sex only, became an obsession. And as a result, each behavior was given a certain type of features. Thus, there is the idea according to which women are free to cry and hide their faces showing vulnerability, while men are judged if doing so, becoming constrained by the society. The majority of advertising displays illustrates the man in leading positions. This is proved either by gestures made towards the woman or just by phisical features: he is taller or wider than the woman. Otherwise, if the man is shorter than the woman, this is a sign of submission for the man. For a woman, height is directly proportional to social class. For women, gestures such as "bashful knee bend" may suggest submission. In combination with certain gestures of the face, lips and eyes, the image could lead to sexual submission, too.
How Chinese young consumers respond to gendered advertisements