The Effects of Advertisements on Gender Hegemony

Essay by beavb419University, Bachelor'sA+, February 2006

download word file, 8 pages 3.0

Downloaded 123 times

Advertising has become the foundation and economic means of the mass media. Today, it is a $180 billion industry. Americans are exposed to over 3,000 advertisements a day, which makes advertising one of the most powerful forces in society. All sources of media survive on advertisements, especially magazines. Magazines use advertisements for income, marketing, and also supporting their editorial content and beliefs. According to Professor James Lull, the mass media introduce elements into individual consciousness that would not otherwise appear there, but will not be rejected by consciousness because they are so commonly shared in the cultural community. By utilizing and exposing these elements in modern day advertisements, the media persuade consumers to swallow up goods and services at an increasing level, which supports economic capitalism. Through the ideologies reproduced, mass distributed, and consumed by advertising, culture myths of power have become accepted as reality by the consumers and assist in the maintenance of a male dominated capitalist society.

The marketplace is the major structuring foundation of modern consumer civilization. Advertisements are made to empower the marketplace and influence consumers. As advertising developed through different markets, many stereotypes, roles, and values have been reintroduced into our culture. When people take these standards and incorporate them into their everyday lives, hegemony, or power over others, has been achieved. According to Italian scholar, Antonio Gramsci, these values or ideologies are the structuring of authority and dependence in symbolic environments, producing a hegemonic society. Today's culture is based on symbols and ideologies in advertisements and the meanings behind them. These ideologies become personified in commercial advertising. This is proven through the analysis of two top of the market magazines, Glamour and Maxim. These two magazines put out advertisements that contribute to the dominant discourse that men are more powerful than women. This...