Advertising as a Medium of Gender-Biased Communication — страница 2

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had "little sense of justice," and so on.4 In addition, mass mediated messages offer the most contemporary, powerful, technologically and rhetorically sophisticated stereotypes for shaping cultural reality. The beauty, diet, and advertising industries are the most obvious, best researched examples of contemporary, self-conscious myth-makers who control cultural concepts (and acceptable images) of gender (of what it takes and means to be male or female, masculine or feminine).5 The opportunities for generating (and receiving) mass mediated messages is staggering. So too is the opportunity for abuse. Communication is of central concern when addressing gender issues. Rhetorical messages in large part determine what we consider knowledge, what knowledge we privilege, and

what values we espouse. Furthermore, the role of culture in communication practices directs us to an intercultural perspective on gender and communication. 1.2 Proxemics and gender "Space is a primary means by which a culture designates who is important, who has privilege."6 Differences in the amount of space given to and taken by women and men reflect societal gender roles. So, women are less likely than men to have their own private space within the family home. And, in the workplace, employees in the traditionally female role, secretary, generally have a smaller space than the employee in the traditionally male role, executive. Responses to invasion of space also differ between men and women. While men may respond aggressively, women tend to yield space rather than

challenge the intruder. These are but a few examples of the ways in which differences in communication between the genders fit categories of primary elements in intercultural communication. The point is that these differences can create problems in communication. Julia Wood devotes a whole chapter of her book Gendered Lives to the ways in which these problems are manifest in the educational system. We might assume too that the same problems are likely to visit the university library as well. An abridged list of the concerns Woods discusses includes issues familiar to us all: lack of female role models, curricular content which misrepresents white men as standard and renders women invisible, biased communication in the classroom (in both student-faculty and student-counsellor

communication women are not taken seriously).(Wood, pp. 206-229.) As it follows from the above said, gender stereotypes occur in communication patterns, habits, and traditions across cultures, proving that gender communication is a form of intercultural communication. 2. Manifestation of Gender Bias in Mass Communication Proceeding from the above analysis, it is of interest to assess the extent to which the mass media have responded to cultural trends in the society. It can be assumed that, having gained a considerable part of the communication process, mass media are subject to gender stereotypes. There has been considerable recent interest in the possible contributions of the mass media to the origins and maintenance of gender roles7. Studies using educational books8, picture

books9, and comic strips10 have shown that men and women are portrayed in stereotypic fashion suggesting that the media are by and large consistent in their gender role stereotyping.11 In this context it is interesting to examine if and how stereotypes are reflected in TV and radio advertising. The choice of these two types of media for more detailed analysis can be explained by their nature. Namely, as long as their primary impact on the audience is made through the auditory channel, the advertisements included into TV and radio programs are more difficult to be skipped by the listeners and/or viewers than similar advertising in the printed types of mass media. 2.1 Gender Stereotyping in TV Advertisements advertising gender communication Studies in this area show that TV

advertisements aimed at men differ from those aimed at women. This is reflected not only in targeting a particular product at a particular audience. In doing so, we can observe, firstly, using specific day parts (daytime, evening primetime and weekend afternoon sports) as a framework for the supposed target audience (women, family and men respectively). Secondly, and this is a more serious issue, the advertisements aimed at one sex tend to portray gender differently from the advertisements aimed at the other sex.12 There is now fairly widespread conceptual agreement and empirical support for the view that television can and does profoundly influence the viewers' intellectual development, change their attitudes, encourage attitudes and behaviours, and spread some stereotypes.13 It