Does the Audience Matter? A Critical Analysis of Black Female Bodies in the Media 公开

James, Glory (2017)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/qf85nc116?locale=zh
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Abstract

In regards to the ways in which individuals are portrayed in various forms of media, generally, there exists a consensus among sociologists that much of media content is influenced by the demographic characteristics of intended audiences. For instance, representations of women in a magazine geared towards men can be expected to differ from depictions in a magazine intended for women. Building upon existing research, this study examines the extent to which the phenomenon described above is impacted by gender and race, focusing specifically on depictions in magazine advertisements. In order to investigate how target audiences influence ad content, images contained within two magazines- Ebony and Vogue- were compared. Issues were selected from a time period spanning four years (2004-2007), and four issues were selected from each year (March, June, September, and December) to account for any potential bias linked to the month of publication. In each issue, only those advertisements that featured women were included in the analysis. Once the ads solely featuring men (or other objects) were eliminated, every fourth ad was selected for inclusion in the sample. Advertisements were coded using MAXQDA, and results demonstrated there was, in fact, a difference in the ways in which men and women were portrayed in Ebony and Vogue. Furthermore, there was also a difference in the depictions of black women between both magazines. As such, the findings of this study align with those obtained by similar studies conducted in the past and further reveal the extent to which the characteristics of intended audiences influence media content. Ebony, a magazine geared predominantly towards black audiences was found to be more likely to portray a more diverse array of black women in their magazine advertisements (women with different body types, hair textures, and skin tones) than Vogue. The latter publication, which can be said to cater towards a predominantly white audience, was significantly less likely to depict black women in their ads in general, and in the rare instances when black women were featured, the women selected more frequently exhibited Eurocentric features than their counterparts in Ebony.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

I. Introduction............................................................................................................ 1

II. Research Questions................................................................................................ 3

III. Theoretical Framework and Research Background............................................... 3

a. Goffman and Gender Portrayals................................................................. 3

b. Kang: Goffman's Analysis Revisited......................................................... 5

c. Umiker-Sebeok and Power in Advertisements........................................... 6

d. Mears and Racialized Bodies...................................................................... 8

IV. Conceptualization................................................................................................... 9

V. Rationale and Hypothesis....................................................................................... 9

VI. Methods................................................................................................................ 11

a. Lindner and Depictions of Women in Time and Vogue........................... 11

b. Sampling Technique................................................................................. 12

c. Coding Categories.................................................................................... 13

d. Data Analysis............................................................................................ 15

VII. Results.................................................................................................................. 15

VIII. Discussion/Conclusion......................................................................................... 28

IX. References............................................................................................................ 33

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