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Original Essays | September 18, 2014

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On a hot July evening years ago, my Toyota Tercel overheated on a flat stretch of highway north of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A steam geyser shot up from... Continue »
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Putting on Appearances: Gender & Advertising (Women in the Political Economy)

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Putting on Appearances: Gender & Advertising (Women in the Political Economy) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this lively critical analysis, Diane Barthel reveals the previously overlooked and underestimated depth of cultural meaning behind contemporary American advertising. Focusing mainly on ads for beauty products directed at women, she demonstrates how stereotypical gender identities are emphasized and how advertising itself creates a gendered relationship with the consumer. She explores psychological, sociological, and cultural messages in advertising to show how Putting on Appearances is anything but a purely personal matter, and how the social realities in which we are forced to live are conditioned by the personal appearances we choose to create.

Most advertisements are not sexually obvious, but rely instead on sexual story-telling in which seduction, deception, and passion are portrayed as acceptable means for achieving selfhood. Advertisements that proclaim, "Now is the time to paint your knees" speak with one form of authority: those that present the voice of the all-knowing scientist or the nurturing mother rely on others. Celebrities figure as professional beauties and wise older sisters, sharing their secrets with the consumer. "The Gentle Treatment Great Model Search Made Me a Star. Now its your turn."

Inseparable from the clothes we wear and the products we use are our ideas and fantasies about our bodies. Beauty products present beauty rituals as transcendent occasions, and diet products call up religious imagery of guilt and salvation. The body itself is to be anxiously manipulated and systematically worked over until the consumer "turns her body into...an advertisement for herself, a complicated sign to be read and admired."

In the series Women in the Political Economy, edited by Ronnie J. Steinberg.

Synopsis:

A lively critical analysis that reveals the overlooked and underestimated depth of cultural meaning behind contemporary American advertising

About the Author

Diane Barthel is Associate Professor of Sociology at State University of New York, Stony Brook.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780877226611
Author:
Barthel, Diane
Publisher:
Temple University Press
Subject:
General
Subject:
Imagery (psychology)
Subject:
Visual communication
Subject:
Women's Studies - General
Subject:
Women's Studies
Subject:
Business - General
Subject:
Business-Advertising
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series:
Women in the Political Economy (Paperback)
Publication Date:
19890831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
232
Dimensions:
8.28x5.50x.69 in. .66 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Business » Advertising
Business » General
Business » Management
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » General
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Womens Studies
History and Social Science » Sociology » General

Putting on Appearances: Gender & Advertising (Women in the Political Economy) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 232 pages Temple University Press - English 9780877226611 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
A lively critical analysis that reveals the overlooked and underestimated depth of cultural meaning behind contemporary American advertising

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