The Portrayal of Women in Advertising and Their Role in Society

The role of women has been changing over the years in various fields around the world like advertising, academics, politics, etc. Today 30% of employees in the software industry are women. They are also distinguishing themselves as professionals in different walks of life. But has the representation of women advertising changed over a period of time in advertisements? Or does it confirm to some of the traditional notions about women and their role in society? That is the question we wish to deal with in this paper.

Portrayal of woman in advertising has been an area of interest for both academicians (Das, 2000, Siu and Au, 1997) and practitioners. There has been a socio-cultural change in society over the decades which are evident from the increasing number of women pursuing careers, changing family role structure, and unfavorable female attitudes toward traditional sex-role stereotypes. The earliest study of women’s role portrayals was done by Courtney and Lockeretz (1971).

They studied 112 ads in magazines and concluded that the ads reflected stereotypical roles like “women’s place is in the home, women don’t make important decisions or do important things, and women are dependent and need men’s protection, men regard women as sex objects and are not interested in women as people”.

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(Pg 94) Like Courtney and Lockeretz (1971), many other studies still believe that sex role stereotyping occurs in television commercials and the same is been a trend for years. (Siu and Au, 1997).

There is a strong similarity in sex role advertising around the world but there have been a few studies which have focused on the effect of culture on advertising (Siu and Au, 1997, Milner and Collins, 2000) Role portrayals in advertising are different in Asia, as compared to the rest of the world (Cutler et al.

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, 1995). Hofstede (1980) also identifies that the cultural values of Asian nations are significantly different from those of countries like the United States, Canada, and Britain. Therefore we can say that the role of woman will also be different in Asia when compared to the United States or United Kingdom. 4 There have been very limited studies on woman role portrayal in India. The studies are Matthew (1990), Munshi (2000) and Das (2000). All these studies have focused their study on the print advertising. Matthew (1990) studied the segmentation of men and the advertisements preferred by various segments. Munshi (2000) examined the role of housewives in advertisement. These two studies are limited in their scope. However, Das (2000) conducted a study on the role of both men and woman in Indian magazines over three years 1987, 1990 and 1994 and also compared these to the ads from other countries. A review of extensive literature has helped to identify that there has been no study in the Indian context on the role of woman in Television advertising. This study aims to fulfill this gap by analyzing the role of woman in Indian Television over three decades from 1980.

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The Portrayal of Women in Advertising and Their Role in Society. (2022, Oct 07). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/the-portrayal-of-women-in-advertising-and-their-role-in-society-essay

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