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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2031/3768

Title: Gender roles portrayals in print advertisements of youth's popular magazines in Hong Kong: a content analysis
Authors: Chau, King Chun
Department: Department of Applied Social Studies
Issue Date: 1997
Supervisor: Dr. Cheung Chau Kiu
Subjects: Gender roles
Print advertisement
Patriarchal ideology
Youth magazine
Abstract: This is an exploratory study that examines portrayals of men and women’s roles in print advertisements of youth’s popular magazines in Hong Kong, a predominate Chinese society. As there is a paucity of similar local research, it is hoped that the study will enrich our present understanding of the subject. The research consists of two parts: 1. An overview of gender roles portrayals in the print advertisement of the popular youth’s magazines; and 2. An in-depth understanding of social meanings conveyed in these advertisements. In regard to the first part, 341 valid advertisements were selected from the six most popular youth’s magazines. The method of content analysis that was modified from the Ho’s (1985) version was employed. The results supported our six hypotheses, which were: 1. Female characters appear in the home more frequently than male characters in the print advertisements of the youth’s popular magazines. 2. Female characters appear more frequently as wives or mothers than male characters as husbands or fathers in the print advertisements of the youth’s popular magazines. 3. Female characters appear less frequently in working roles than male characters in the print advertisements of the youth’s popular magazines. 4. Female characters appear less frequently as professionals than male characters in the print advertisements of the youth’s popular magazines. 5. Female characters appear more frequently as passive than male characters or to be subordinated to men with lower social status in the print advertisements of the youth’s popular magazines. 6. Female characters appear more frequently in the personal products or household products than male characters in the print advertisements of the youth’s popular magazines. On the other hand, four advertisements were chosen for the analysis in part 2 and a semiotic approach was adopted. The four advertisements were selected because they represented the subtlest expressions of gender portrayal in advertising. The findings supplemented the results in part 1. They showed that gender-role stereotypes, which were in line with our traditional beliefs about masculinity and femininity, were ubiquitously signified. These gender-role stereotypes were: 1. “Men mind the external affairs and women the internal affairs” (男主外, 女主內). 2. “A woman likes to beautify herself for the one who loves her” (女為悅己者容). 3. “Males are superior; females are inferior” (男尊女卑). In conclusion, although the development of the modern capitalist economy demands many females to join the labour forces (hence, there were more women appearing as workers in this study than that in the previous research), their family role was still emphasized and signified as the primary one. The changes in our economy and labour market have not brought about any fundamental changes in the patriarchal ideology that has been dominating our society for a long long time. As reflected in those advertisements, patriarchal ideology has greatly determined the gender roles portrayals in the print advertisements, which will continue to be a significant socializing force in shaping the values and beliefs of our youngsters.
Appears in Collections:Applied Social Studies - Undergraduate Final Year Projects - Sociology

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