The men we sell ourselves: the communication of masculinities folklore through the medium of television advertising

Wall, Stephen E. (2017) The men we sell ourselves: the communication of masculinities folklore through the medium of television advertising. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This work explicates the vernacular interpretive practices of audience members as they view masculinities images conveyed through the medium of television advertising. Founded in a theoretical framework of gender studies, media studies, the folkloristic approach to popular culture, and the subtle performances of everyday life, this dissertation aims to better understand both what people see when they are shown an image like Old Spice’s “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” or Dos Equis’ “Most Interesting Man in the World” and how they assimilate these images into their larger understandings of manliness and masculinity. The evidence interpreted herein will point to a disconnect between the displays of manliness in advertisements collected from the informants’ locally available television networks and the depth and breadth of the informants personal experiences to which the notion of “masculinity” applies in their everyday lives. Based on consultation of advertising literature and interview work with advertising professionals undertaken as part of this project, it is clear that this hegemonic approach to masculinity is something advertisers are seeking to perpetuate as a means of making messages available to a wider audience in an effort to achieve profit. This dissertation concludes on the note of problematizing this approach to masculinities in advertising and identifies examples of advertisings’ lack of impact when it comes health, education, and not-­‐for-­‐profit efforts in the field of advocacy that centers on North American men.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 13052
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 196-212).
Keywords: Gender, Advertising, Masculinity, Popular Culture, Vernacular Theory
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: October 2017
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Masculinity in advertising

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