Codes of gender : Advertising in media

The Codes of Gender applies the late sociologist Erving Goffman’s groundbreaking analysis of advertising. They are often found in print magazines to the contemporary commercial landscape. They show how American popular culture reflects, and in turn shapes, normative ideas about masculinity and femininity. UMass Communication professor Sut Jhally explores Goffman’s central claim that gender ideals are the result of a ritualized cultural performance. Consequently, uncovering a remarkable pattern of masculine and feminine displays and poses. Jhally looks beyond advertising as a medium that simply sells products. On the contrary, he focuses on biological difference or issues of objectification and beauty. As a result, it provides a clear-eyed view of the two-tiered terrain of identity and power relations.

Sut Jhally

Jhally points out that the character Pat from Saturday Night Live.In addition, tells us something revealing about gender. What do you think he means?. Furthermore, do you think this character or other media displays reveal about the way we define codes of gender?

Erving Goffman: codes of gender

Goffman refers to a phenomenon in advertising he calls self-touching. For example, where models are shown with their hands touching their shoulder or face as well as caressing their neck .They also appear hold up their apparently delicate bodies. This significantly matters as it influences their thinking.


Bizarre contortions and postures are seem more desirable in the world of advertising. That is,  ads are in design to persuade an audience to purchase something. Notably, this pattern of portraying women in positions of subordination helps sell products to women in particular.

Movies and programs: codes of gender

Can you think of movies or TV programs or even video games where female characters tend to be  as helpless, unaware, emotionally unstable or losing control. Contrary , the male characters are seen as the ones in control.

Effects of gender codes in advertising

These gender codes in advertising have many real effect on how we see each other. It also affects how we interact with each other. Do you think they affect your own life? Step 8: Upload your essay as Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx,) filetype to this assignment page only.  Please do not submit a .PDF or .Pages file type.

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