Gender Representation In British TV Commercials

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Question :

  • Assignment One is s straightforward assignment. 
  • Essentially you are asked to summarise four pieces of peer reviewed academic work and show you can understand those pieces of work.
  • This is important as it is a key academic skill – it’s a skill you will use in assignment two. People at all levels of academia have to summarise key literature and perspectives. This is what you are being asked to do. 
  • If you use this assignment to inform assignment two it will help you pin down assignment two ideas. As previously stated a number of times, you may choose not to – this assignment will be marked on it’s own merits – any research related gain for assignment two is separate from the marking of this assignment.
  • Below is an example of assignment one – it is based on a research interest, that research interest is gender representation in the shows of ‘quality’ providers such as HBO or Netflix. 
  • This work would give the student s springboard to possibly add to the field of study already written (as academics we never repeat theory, we add to the field). 
  • You will see below I have written a brief introduction about my research interest, obviously this will be quite different if you are choose four readings from the course, or that are a little more diverse.
  • The summary of the reading then comes in at around 274 words and asserts the key points of the reading. 
  • This is an example of the summary of one of your four pieces of work. 

This assignment relates to a variety of interests around the topic of gender and what can be considered to be US quality TV. I intend to highlight some of the key arguments about both the notion of gender and quality discourse through a brief discussion of key articles related to contemporary television texts. This will form the basis for the development of in depth research later in the MED5194 module. The work discussed engages with textual and industrial aspects of television and thus gives some insight into discourses of gender.

‘HBO’s Girls: gender, generation, and quality television’ (Fuller and Driscoll, 2015) explores the postfeminist position of Girls. Postfeminism is defined as a condition where female lives are portrayed as ‘relatively privileged’, but ‘unsatisfactory’ (2015: 254). The work claims that the discourses of postfeminism in the show construct women as relaxed, but also show them as politically apathetic. 

The author highlights the discourses present in the text through discourse analysis and claims that the show constructs narratives about female friendship (2015: 256), which are juxtaposed, with those of a privileged lifestyle. The examples given highlights the central female character and her, ‘struggle to find validation, guidance and support’ (2015: 256). The research offers a perspective that the show is problematic in a feminist sense as none of the characters gain success beyond their comfortable lifestyle, and this is central to the asserted discourse of problematic postfeminism. 

Finally, the work asserts that the ability of the show to offer discourses related to feminism is related to the wider industrial context of ‘quality television’ (2015: 258). The show is defined as ‘quality’ through high production values and HBO’s post-network era ‘edgy’ discursive nature. It is outlined that the HBO era of quality television focused on ‘mythic masculinity’ (2015: 259) and claims that Girls offers a critique of ‘mythic femininity’. The research highlights that notion of ‘quality’ alter. It is outlined that although Sex in the City contained discourses about women’s sexual experiences, Girls asserts quality by both including these existing discourses, and further contemporary elements that SATC didn’t include related to the ‘disappointment, failure, and compromise’ of sexual relationships (2015: 260).

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Answer :

Title: Learning Plan

Topic: Gender Representation in British TV commercials

Article 1: Gender Representation in Television Advertisements in Britain and Saudi Arabia

The study has focused on analysing the differences between advertisements characteristics in two countries, namely Britain and Saudi Arabia. The study explores the huge differences presents in the portray of women in advertisements. The study argues that television advertisements are televised based on consumer behaviour (Nassif and Gunter, 2008, p.753). 

The findings of the study show that while in the UK, women were being seen in occupational roles, in Saudi Arabia, advertisements, including women, includes mostly household activities. Nonetheless to say, even though female characters were seen in lead roles in advertisements in both the countries, mail voiceover seemed dominating in Saudi Arabia than in UK (Nassif and Gunter, 2008, p.758). 

The article shows that UK social setting is based on equality and is highly feminism in the sense of equal rights and behaviour, which is sharply missing in the case of Saudi Arabia. Moreover, the introduction of TV advertisements and women as lead characters have just been introduced in Saudi Arabia due to religious reasons. In contrast, the UK provides a fairly transparent social setting that has included women as lead characters and equal to male in various ways. However, it is still a matter of fact that unlike Saudi Arabia where males are portrayed in dependent roles, in the UK, females are shown in dependent roles and many cases, they were dominant than the male versions (Nassif and Gunter, 2008, p.758). 

Article 2: A Multimodal Approach to the Analysis of Gender Stereotypes in Contemporary British TV Commercials: “Women And Men At Work” 

The study is showing entirely different findings than that of the first article reviewed. The study has found out that in British Commercials, women are in non-numerated positions like household settings and with children, whereas male was mostly seen in the household settings. The multimodal research technique has helped the researcher of this paper to identify the sharp differences still present in UK TV commercials. Interesting, TV commercials have stereotyped women as household materials and men as outdoor office materials to influence consumer behaviour. 

The study has found out that British Kids spend almost 2.1 hours on Watching Television (Rubio, 2018, p.186). During this period, they watch numerous number of TV commercials. The study has also found out that within a single year, a child sees almost 20,000 TV commercials (Rubio, 2018, p.186). The chances of changes such behaviours is due to the fact that men and women are stereotyped in different ways. More example, in working setting ads, when men and women were seen together, it sends the message that men need to focus on parenting by getting alienated from their professional environment. Moreover, men are shown as solving problems and women as talking in many ads featuring both men and women (Rubio, 2018, p.212). 

The multimodal research has helped the researcher to find out that women are represented as psychologically and emotionally attached with family members either through touch, smile or eye contact. In contrast, males are more concerned with their work environment. Moreover, the research has found out female dominance in non-numerated settings, though, in numerated settings, male dominance is certain (Rubio, 2018, p.213).  

Article 3: The Portrayal of Men and Women in British Television Advertisements: A Review of 7 Studies Published Over a 12 Year Period

The study has been made on the pitching style of male employees and females employees in the British TV commercials and has found that females are younger than the males for having dominant nature to deal with the customers. The study has been made on ten years of research on the Television Commercials of British. It has justified that the stereotype thinking about the portrayal of men in British Television Commercial is higher than the women (Furnham and Paltzer, 2011, p.1). The study has revealed that women are less compatible to deal with the arguments in the field of advertisement as compared to male representatives. The reason has been given based on the potentiality and the confidence level of male and female employees. The ratio has been changed, and it has found that nowadays, female employees also can counter the arguments of customers in the commercial field. However, this has been counted as a positive sign, but on the other end, the numbers were increasing in favour of male employees. The study has presented that the gender role, as well as ratio, has been changed in last ten years in the British Television Commercials. Still, the argument remains same that male has better dominance power than female (Furnham and Paltzer, 2011, p.5). The study has been focused on the stereotype thinking about the working skills of males and females in television advertisements. It has been concluded that British Television Commercials has changed the role of female employees in the field to keep a better combination of male and female employees in the field. 

Article 4: Sex-role stereotyping in British television advertisements: 

The chosen article has been done on the selected 170 advertisements, and the reviews have been collected of male and female employees based on the pitching of arguments, locations, rewards and products types (Manstead and McCulloch, 2011, p.171). From the study, it has been found that 70% of male employees have the power to give proper arguments and pitch in against the queries of the customers out of 100 on average. On the other hand, 30% of female employees are able to handle the arguments of customers out of 100 on average (Manstead and McCulloch, 2011, p.177). Female are expressive and understandable to the customers, but they have the least dominance power than male employees in the field of advertisement, as per the study made on the British Advertisement sector. The study has deduced that males are more portrayed than females in the field due to good knowledge about the products and the critics about the products. Whereas, on the other hand, female employees failed to counter the statements of the customers in most of the cases due to poor knowledge about the products offering to the customers. The study has been made on two different markets, the US and UK and the result are the same. Both the testing has revealed that the stereotype thinking about the working ability in the field of advertisement is different for male and female (Manstead and McCulloch, 2011, p.172). On the other side, it has been identified that as a customer, female customers are more dominating than the male customers, as they deal with domestic use of the products. 


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