The Representation Of Masculinity In Print Advertising

2038 words - 8 pages

IntroductionIn the modern world where media consumption is at an all time high and obtaining information and resources outside of that presented by the media is harder, we need to be aware of how media is constructing the reality of consumers. The well documented rise of the feminism movements during the nineteen-sixties and seventies has shaped a transformation in the roles and representations of women through the media. The nineteen nineties where hugely transformative years where there was a progressive and dramatic change in these representations. The woman was now being consistently represented as self-empowering, intelligent and fully independent. This was a noticeable shift away from the previous objectification that had so long been the main portrayal of women.The representation of man has also changed dramatically. From the strong and rugged masculine image that created the Marlboro Man and the original James Bond, man is now presented in a lot of general media as being an accessory to the woman, or is objectified according to his looks and physique. The dramatic growth in male grooming products alongside the new pressures to be an all-rounded and balanced person emotionally as well as intellectually are all being broadcasted through different sources in the media.One such source is the marketing campaigns carried out by large companies. These companies benefit by creating and promoting new styles of masculinity. In this promotion lies a lifestyle package that the consumer buys into, and it is the marketer's job to create a dependency on the product and lifestyle. In an age where more and more confirmation of identity is sought through consumption, it is important to research the power of the image displayed in front of the product being presented through an advertisement.The purpose in carrying out research on the topic of male representation in advertising is to achieve an understanding of how the representation of male identity and masculinity is linked to a product, as opposed to a product being linked to an identity. The saturation in women's markets has created a need by marketers to develop and target whole new segments in the male industries, some of which until this last decade have never existed before. Changes in lifestyles and in gender balances have created large gaps in the understandings by men of their identity. Marketers aim to satisfy this need to restore the concept of male identity by offering lifestyles and images that will superficially appeal to the male consumer.This paper will examine the changing representations of male identity. A semiotic analysis of advertisements will be undertaken as the method of research. The purpose of this research is to explore current advertisements in popular magazines to see how representations of male identity differ according to the product being sold, and how these differences are presented.Research QuestionThis paper aims to answer the following research question: Is there a...

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