Advertising: social life, social standing and sex

Rebecca Feasey

in Masculinity and Popular Television

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780748627974
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651184 | DOI:
Advertising: social life, social standing and sex

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This chapter introduces the ways in which stereotypical representations of gender have changed in British and American television advertising from the 1950s to the present day, paying particular attention to the depiction of the female as a passive sexual object and the depiction of the male as a rugged individualist. Attention is also given to the depiction of masculinity in a range of male grooming, car and beer commercials that have been created for a gender-balanced evening audience. By looking at the representations of masculinity in recent advertisements for the Lynx, Volkswagen Passat, Golf and Budweiser brands, the chapter hopes to illustrate the ways in which these texts can be seen to negotiate early images of the competitive, hungry, individualist in favour a softer, understated image of the male. All of these advertisements challenge the competitive and physically powerful hegemonic male, and, as such, can be seen to respond to the multiple masculinities on offer in contemporary society. One common denominator in these advertisements is the absence of domestic commitments or familial responsibilities, signifying that there exist a number of men living apart from women.

Keywords: representations of gender; British television advertising; American television advertising; male; masculinity; commercials; multiple masculinities

Chapter.  7513 words. 

Subjects: Television

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