Sc2220 lecture 5 2012

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Lecture 5: Selling Gender Identity

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Sc2220 lecture 5 2012

  1. 1. Eric C. ThompsonSemester 2, 2011/2012
  2. 2. Projects By this week, all groups should settle on a set of representations to analyze. By next tutorial session, please have your “field” of representations defined and a clear approach to analyzing them (your methodology). I have posted a reading on “techniques to identify themes” on the IVLE site. This article discusses text more than visual material; but some general ideas should apply and be helpful. Further guidelines will be discussed in the next tutorial.
  3. 3. Projects 2 Projects from the 2010/2011 year course are posted at: Your projects should be developed on the MAIN Wiki under the folder for your Group. Make sure you know your tutorial session and group number (for example: D3 Group 2 2012) Please browse the 2010/2011 project wiki to guide the development of your own projects. (You should be able to judge which you think are the better projects and use them as a model. But try to improve on them too!)
  4. 4. Wiki Contributions Please make your wiki contributions for the first half of the course by NEXT THURSDAY (Feb 16, 5pm). We will be sending you feedback on these over the next two weeks… we hope by the end of week 7. Everything you contribute (pages, discussion threads, comments) will be considered in evaluating your contributions. Most weight will be given to page contributions. Multiple summaries or commentaries on the main readings are fine… you can add extra pages under the main page for any reading, film or lecture.
  5. 5. Where We Have Been… History of Gender Studies Sex/Gender Distinction Becoming Male or Female  Gender socialization; paths to learning gender. Gender Systems  Masculinity/Femininity  Gender as systems of beliefs and behaviors
  6. 6. Where We Are Going… Gender in Popular Culture  Gender in Advertising  Popular Culture Gender in Social Relations  Gender and Power  Gender and Work Gender, Here and Now  Gender in Singapore
  7. 7. Today’s Lecture… “Killing Us Softly” – Images of Women in Advertising Content Analysis and Influences of Advertising Cultural Differences in Beauty Why do advertising and popular culture seem to objectify women and not men?
  8. 8. Killing Us Softly: 1979Still Killing Us Softly: 1987 Killing Us Softly 3: 2000
  9. 9. Men and Women in Advertising Content Analysis of Advertising general shows the following: Men as “expert” voiceover announcer on all types of products Men overrepresented numerically Women younger, shorter, more likely secondary role Women more often a smaller % of the image
  10. 10. Content Analysis of Advertising(Continued…) Men less often in family role When men are portrayed as fathers, it is less often with daughters or infants than son Women more likely appear unemployed or in “pink collar” job; men are shown in all jobs (especially occupations with authority). Men more often give advice, women receive advice Ads selling to women more often focus on appearance; those selling to men focus on status.
  11. 11. “Real Beauty” Dove “Real Beauty” Campaign Revolutionary? Shock/Difference = Attention = Interest = Sales = $$$$ And still . . . “Advertising involves selling us things we did not know we needed to solve problems we did not know we had.”
  12. 12. Shaping Possibilities Brittney Spears Pepsi Ad Campaign Influence on Clothing Styles In mass market, clothing choices are determined by producers as much as by consumers. Low-cut jeans become the norm (and the only thing available in stores). How many people choose to wear clothes other than those available in shops?
  13. 13. Masculinity and Advertising “Instruction Manual” & “Structure of appropriate behavior” Advertising exaggerates male status- seeking (as ‘what women want’) and female beauty & sexuality (as ‘what men want’) Findings from Psychology:  Men who view beautiful models are less satisfied and less committed to current partner.*  Women who listen to stories about successful men are less satisfied with current partner.  See: David Buss, Evolutionary Psychology
  14. 14. Version 4: 2010
  15. 15. Cultural Differences in Images of Beauty Some aspects of beauty are consistent across cultures:  Symmetry  Waist-to-Hip Ratio (.70)  Indicate Health, Fertility Many others are not. Why do standards of beauty vary widely in different societies and cultures? Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640): Set the standard of “Rubenesque” beauty.
  16. 16. Mauritania Fat-Farms: Force Fed Beauty
  17. 17. Radically Different Images of Beauty:But Equally Extreme Obesity = Beauty  Correlation between Body Image and Status  If little food is available, fatness is a display of wealth and high social status.  If food is abundant, thinness is a display of discipline and leisure time to exercise and high social Anorexia = Beauty status.
  18. 18. Skin Deep Beauty Agricultural societies:  Dark skin = Working Outdoors = Low Social Status  Light skin = Staying Indoors = High Social Status Industrial societies:  Dark skin = Leisure Outdoors = High Social Status  Light skin = Working Indoors (factory/office) = Low Social Status Racism: White = European = Wealth = High Social Status Skin Whitening Products Skin Tanning Products
  19. 19. Influence of Mass Popular Culture  Mass popular culture = greater body image pressure.  Introduction of television correlated with increased emphasis on body image cross-culturally.  Societies without mass media are much less obsessed with body image. (e.g. Shostak 1981, Nisa)
  20. 20. Men Don’t Seem to Need a “Real Beauty” Campaign
  21. 21. Objectification of Women Why are women’s bodies objectified and not men’s? (or women’s bodies more so than men’s) Thesis 1: Men control advertising firms; they choose to display women as sex objects (for their gratification and to perpetuate male power over women). Thesis 2: Heterosexual dynamics are such that women are a sexual commodity in ways that men are not (there is a “market” for women’s sexuality; but not much of one for men’s). The two theses are not mutually exclusion; evidence exists to support both.
  22. 22. Cultural, Social, Biological Popular Culture: Images teach us how to be men, women, gendered beings Social Organization: Different social-economic organization (agricultural, industrial; scarcity, abundance) influences cultural representations of high and low status Heterosexual Chemistry/Dynamics: Inclines women to be Sex Objects more so than men. There is no single explanation for gender. Gender systems are “overdetermined.” (see Ridgeway and Correll, p. 512)
  23. 23. Summary Points Advertising plays a powerful role in gender beliefs. Advertising reinforces stereotypes and gender polarization; playing on evolved psychology:  Women appear as “sex objects”  Men appear as “success objects” Beauty has both culturally consistent and culturally consistent elements Gender systems are “overdetermined” – by culture, social relations and biology; they cannot be reduced to single causes.

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