Discussion – Gender and Advertisements

Step 1

Watch The Naked Truth, a Ted Talk by Dr. Jean Kilbourne. Take notes and pay particular attention on how Dr. Kilbourne analyzes the advertisement. See how she is able to break the ads down in a sociological way. Observe the ways she is able to read power, heterosexuality, masculinity, hyper-femininity, women’s powerlessness, and violence against women. Also, pay attention how race and gender inequality work simultaneously to structure the representation of women of color in advertisements.

Step 2:

Go to: Google “Images” and perform at least 4 different searches:

“Violence against women in advertising”

“Sexism in advertising”

“Rape in ads”

“Masculinity in ads”

(Or you can do your own unique search so long as you stay on topic.

Then, select two advertisements. The ads should be in different categories. Also, push yourself to think deeply and critically.

Save the images to your hard drive (you need to upload them when you submit your post). You should also provide direct link to the particular ads you chose.

Step 2

Critically analyze your ads.

Upload the ads you selected so others can read your analysis of the images. Each analysis should be at least 150 words (you can always write more). Write a thoughtful, in-depth, post analyzing gendered themes in the advertisement. I suggest you write out your posts first in Word, so you can edit it for grammar, spelling, etc.

Remember, the point here is to do more than explain the obvious. Remember how Dr. Kilbourne (The Naked Truth) is able to use her sociological imagination to examine the ways in which power, dominance, femininity, and masculinity shape the ad.

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