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Calidad Revistas Científicas Españolas
VOL.
28(1)/
2015
Author / Michael PRIELER Professor. School of Communication. Hallym University. South Korea
Author / Alex IVANOV Assistant Professor. Department of Media and Communication. City University of Hong Kong. China Creative Media Centre
Author / Shigeru HAGIWARA Professor. Department of Contemporary Communication. St. Margaret’s Junior College. Tokyo. Japan
More authors:  1 2 3
Article / Gender representations in East Asian advertising: Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea

Abstract /

Gender representations in television advertisements have been a subject of academic research for many years. However, comparatively few studies have looked into television advertising’s gender representations in Confucian societies, particularly from a comparative perspective. This study compares the representation of males and females in 1,694 television advertisements from Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea. It uncovers stereotypical gender representations related to age (females were predominantly young, males were middle-aged), clothing/nudity (females were more suggestively dressed, males were fully clothed), work (females were depicted more often at home, males were typically depicted in the workplace), authority (males were used for voiceovers more than females, with males being the so-called “voice of authority”), and beauty (more females than males advertised for the cosmetics/toiletries product category). Overall, gender representations were highly stereotypical in all three cultures, which may be due to a shared common cultural background based on Confucianism. In terms of the degree of gender stereotyping, Hong Kong was more gender-egalitarian than Japan and South Korea; this finding is consistent with results from Project Globe’s gender egalitarianism index and the Gender-related Development Index (GDI) by the United Nations, but not with Hofstede’s masculinity index. These results suggest a relationship between gender representations and some gender indices. Finally, this article discusses the possible effects of stereotypical gender representations on audiences in relation to social cognitive and cultivation theories.

Keywords /

Television advertising, content analysis, gender representations, Confucianism, comparative research

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