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Portrayal Of Men And Women In Indian Television Advertising

5294 words - 22 pages

Portrayal of Men and Women in Indian Television Advertising


Although gender role portrayals in advertising have been extensively studied in Western and other Asian countries, very few such analyses have been done in India. The study does a systematic analysis of the role portrayal of men and women in Indian television advertising. 128 male role portrayals and 196 female role portrayals are content analyzed for the years 1996, 1999 and 2002. Results show that Indian advertising depicts men and women in traditionally assigned roles of the culture. In several respects, role portrayals in Indian advertising are different from the West but similar to other Asian countries.
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g. Wolin 2003).
Gender Role Portrayals in Western advertising
Early studies on gender role portrayals in US print advertising documented the presence of a number of stereotypes in the way women and men were depicted in advertising (e.g. Belkaoui and Belkaoui 1976; Courtney and Lockeretz 1971; Sexton and Haberman 1974; Venkatesan and Losco 1975). Studies found that women were found primarily at home or in domestic settings. Women were under represented in working situations and were shown in a narrow range of occupations typically in secretarial, clerical, or blue-collar positions. A large majority of advertisements showed women as preoccupied with physical attractiveness and as sex objects. Men, on the other hand, were shown in a range of occupational roles in settings away from home such as work or outdoors. Women were seen associated with purchase of low priced products such as food products and cosmetics while men were associated with purchase of high value durable products and automobiles. Studies analyzing portrayals of genders in television commercials found similar results (Dominick and Rauch 1979; McArthur and Resko 1975; O¡¦Donnell and O¡¦Donnell 1978). Compared to men, women were portrayed as significantly younger, employed less frequently, and at home more often.
Content analyses during the 1980s reported some improvements in portrayals of women in US advertising (Brentl and Cantor 1988; Soley and Kurzbard 1986; Sullivan and O¡¦Connor 1988). There was an increase in career-oriented roles for women, and working women were shown in a wider range of professional occupations. However, some stereotypical depictions of women continued e.g. women as sex objects, women as preoccupied with physical attractiveness, and women in domestic settings. (Bretl and Cantor 1988; Lovdal 1989).
In the 1980s and 1990s, analyses of advertising role portrayals extended from the US to other countries such as United Kingdom (e.g. Furnham and Bitar 1993; Lysonski 1985; Michell and Taylor 1990), Italy (Furnham and Voli 1989) Denmark and France (Furnham, Babitzkow and Uguccioni 1999), Portugal (Neto and Pinto 1998), Mexico (Gilly 1988), and Australia (Mazzella, Durkin, Cerini and Buralli 1992). Analyses of role portrayals in these countries showed that stereotypical portrayals of men and women were consistent across countries. Studies showed that advertisements were more likely to portray women as younger than men in roles of wife, mother, girlfriend, housewife, model, or sex objects. Products and settings for women were identified with home and family life and generally involved with cooking, cleaning, child-care, or maintaining an attractive physical appearance. Women were rarely seen in career-oriented roles. Men, on the other hand, were more likely to be portrayed as celebrities and professionals. Products and settings for men were found to be associated with life away from home and family.
Gender Role Portrayals in Asian advertising
In the late...

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