Goffman is a representative figure of Sociology, especially for introducing the dramaturgical perspective in interpreting the symbolic interactions, best repesented in 1959 book, "The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life". In modern industrialized society, advertising is an important mean of socialising and it’s kept as an instrument to mentain certain social structures. It is believed that advertising transposes reality, exagerating the most important features and characteristics of society. Women and men are differentely described in attitudes, which are read through the body language of the participants. Men and women are ilustrated in advertisements the way they behave in their daily life. They make us understand what can be considered to be feminine or masculin. Through his work, "Gender Advertisements," first appeared in 1979, Erving Goffman manages to highlight the gender stereotypes that society has created through the issue of what we are in advertising displays. The book selects some of the times being advertising images and analises the positions in which both women and men are posing, their mimics and gestures. Opinions are divided on Goffmans interpretation, some say it can’t reflect the true views of society and its taking into account that these pictures and spots are made according to a set script. But in his defense, as Goffman says, that scenario is brought up as a result of the observation of society. Indeed, it is possible to be inspired by reality, but some interpretations may be slightly exaggerated. Goffman insists on advertising images considering the viewer a spectator who approaches those images in hope of finding a reflection of everyday life. We can say that the definition of a person, based on the sex only, became an obsession. And as a result, each behavior was given a certain type of features. Thus, there is the idea according to which women are free to cry and hide their faces showing vulnerability, while men are judged if doing so, becoming constrained by the society. The majority of advertising displays illustrates the man in leading positions. This is proved either by gestures made towards the woman or just by phisical features: he is taller or wider than the woman. Otherwise, if the man is shorter than the woman, this is a sign of submission for the man. For a woman, height is directly proportional to social class. For women, gestures such as "bashful knee bend" may suggest submission. In combination with certain gestures of the face, lips and eyes, the image could lead to sexual submission, too.
This video examines and challenges gender stereotypes used in LEGO advertising. It was created in response to LEGO's release of a stereotypical gendered line of toys aimed at girls, and 10+ years of boy-geared advertising that led to LEGO losing their girl audience in the first place. The video's creators, , promotes grassroots mobilization around issues of female sexualization, and started a petition to ask LEGO to commit to better gender equity in its marketing practices and toy creation. The video documents changes in LEGO's advertising, explains the basic premise of the LEGO petition (which is highly critical of gendered advertising like that seen in the graphic here), seeks to give voice to some of the young girls LEGO missed in their targeted marketing, and discusses where SPARK and PBG (a partner organization, Powered by Girl) want to see LEGO go in the future. Viewers may be encouraged to reflect on how LEGO's use of gender advertising changed over time and what might explain these changes? Why does the video's creator see gender stereotyping as a problem in advertising? How can this be considered a social problem, and how do its creators promote change in addressing the problem? This can also be paired with other examples of gender in television in commercials (e.g. see and ).
Gender Advertising presentation 1
There is so much wrong with writing “that’s what wives are for”. Wives are not robots and they have gone through so much for them to be treated like a servant to men. This is clearly gender stereotype advertisement.
E. Goffman, Gender Advertisements - Scribd
Belknap, Penny and Wilbert Leonard II
1991 A Conceptual Replication of Erving Goffman’s Study of Gender Advertisements. Sex Roles 25(3-4):103-18.
some of the ways that we can go about reading gender advertisements