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Just For Men: The Representation of Masculinities in Grooming Product Advertising

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Just For Men: The Representation of Masculinities in Grooming Product Advertising

Scheibling, Casey (2014) Just For Men: The Representation of Masculinities in Grooming Product Advertising. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to analyze advertisements for grooming products in order to uncover what these texts communicate about contemporary men and masculinity. To support the present research, a theoretical framework consisting of three sections is provided. First, the concepts of ideology, representation and communication are discussed, with regards to how they operate in advertising. Second, critical social and cultural research on theorizing the body is integrated. Third, theories on the social construction of gender and shifting conceptions of masculinity are outlined and evaluated. Next, a literature review gives insight to how men, masculinity and male bodies are represented in magazine advertising. The examination of this research makes clear the timely relevance of exploring grooming product ads specifically. Cosmetics, once reserved to beautify the bodies of women, are now being aggressively aimed at men. This begs the question of whether this shift in marketing denotes a break with certain normative gendered representations within the mass media. Through conducting a thematic discourse analysis on a sample of advertisements from 2011 to 2013, I argue that advertising for male grooming products are coded as necessarily gendered and inherently ‘manly’. While the act of grooming one’s body has been historically associated with femininity, advertisers often draw upon traditionally masculine conventions, ideals and stereotypes. However, masculinities are also constructed as heterogeneous and pluralized; as a fragment of the male identity that varies across ages, classes and ethnicities.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Scheibling, Casey
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Sociology
Date:April 2014
Thesis Supervisor(s):Lafrance, Marc
ID Code:978461
Deposited By: CASEY SCHEIBLING
Deposited On:03 Jul 2014 17:46
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:46

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