Advertising as a Medium of Gender-Biased Communication — страница 6

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status between genders. Research on gender and language reveals that female language strategies invariably emulate the subordinate, nonaggressive role of women in Western society. And, language about women does no better. 3.3 Voiceover characteristics The observations show that in advertising males are likely to appear as voice-overs and females to be depicted visually. The higher proportion of males comprising the voice-over category suggests that it is men much more than women who are considered to have knowledge about products. Thus, the male bastion of authoritative voice continues unscathed.38 Contemporary research by Fern Johnson39 shows that even ads for children feature male voice-overs. Ads for girls usually, but not always, used female voice-overs. Usually an adult

voice was used for the male voice-overs, but about one-sixth of the girl-oriented ads used a girl's voice for the voice-over. Voices, whether male or female, were caricatured in the majority of ads, with male voices often sounding unnaturally deep, husky or loud, and female voices unusually high-pitched, squeaky, or sing-song. Although women have a reputation for being more verbal than men, boys were more likely to be speaking in ads showing both boys and girls. Levingstone and Green's40 also report that silence is presented as a particular feminine quality. 3.4 Word choice Verbs provide clues to the type of action being expressed, the agent of the action, and the activity being undertaken. Johnson and Young41 classified the verbs used in the ads into five categories: · Action

verbs relating to physical movement or motion. · Verbs indicating competition or destruction. · Agency/control verbs indicating that the child consumer can exercise power or control. · Verbs indicating limited activity or a state of being. · Feeling and nurturing verbs Feeling/nurturing verbs were used solely in girl-oriented ads, while competition/destruction verbs were used almost exclusively in ads directed towards boys. · Action verbs were more evenly distributed between ads for boys and girls, but agency/control verbs were more likely to be used for boys and limited activity verbs in ads for girls. The word "power" was used in 21% of the ads oriented towards boys, but only mentioned once in ads for girls. It can be assumed that advertising for children

reflects the general tendencies of mass mediated commercials for the adult audience, and a special research may prove that language issues will work similarly in the whole bulk of the examined material. 3.5 Use of Arguments Central figures were categorized according to the type of arguments they presented in favour of the advertised product. Arguments were classified as "scientific" if they contained or purported to contain factual evidence concerning the product or as "non-scientific" if they simply consisted of opinions or testimonials, and as "none" if the central figure offered no argument.42 The examination shows that in using persuasive arguments men gave more `scientific' arguments than women.43 A review and comparison of fourteen studies done

on five continents of sex-role stereotyping in television commercials over 25 years44 show that "end comment" is still highly indicative of sex-stereotyping. Males more frequently offer an end comment in an advertisement, whereas females frequently do not give any end comment. As we can conclude, language is a vivid reflection of gender stereotypes in mass mediated advertisements, manifesting the bias on the lexical, phonetic, semantic and pragmatic levels. Conclusion The given study makes it possible to conclude the following. 1. It is proved that gender stereotypes in communication are culturally preconditioned. That is, cross-gender communication can be considered as cross-culture communication, including issues of behaviour traditions and proxemics. The tendency to

evaluate another's culture as inferior to our own is perhaps the most difficult stumbling block to avoid, especially when applying it to gender communication. So, instead of becoming annoyed by a male's aggressive communication style, we should recognize that it is a style which is as much a part of his identity as an ethnic cuisine or a religious tradition is part of a culture. 2. It is shown that mass communication, and specifically TV and radio advertising, is a reflection of gender stereotyping in society. Mass mediated messages offer the most contemporary, powerful, technologically and rhetorically sophisticated stereotypes for shaping cultural reality. Moreover, mass media do not only actively exploit biased models, but they also negatively influence the audience by