Hegemonic Masculinity In Advertising Essay

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Hegemonic masculinity in advertising
Aspects of identity and of masculinity are intersectional, so in order to understand hegemonic masculinity it is important to analyse it in terms of race as well as gender. The key function of advertising is to sell something, whether it is a product, service, lifestyle or message. The majority of advertisements depict life either as ‘normal’ or as ideal, thus it is telling that white men feature more prominently and more positively than men of colour in both television (Luyt, 2012) and magazines (Thomas, 2013). That white masculinity is seen as the default or most desirable form of masculinity highlights the racial aspect of hegemonic masculinity. Luyt (2012) analysed South African television advertisements
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This is because hegemonic masculinity does not remain static but changes over time, “hegemony… is a historically mobile relation” (Connell, 1995, p. 77). As different forms of masculinity go in and out of favour the attributes associated with hegemonic masculinity can fluctuate and evolve. Feminism has had an effect on hegemonic masculinity as it has challenged the patriarchy and questioned the dominance of some men over others. As the number of women in the workplace has grown, men have begun to take their share of responsibility in the household (although this is still imbalanced). Alternative forms of masculinity such as the ‘new man’ and the ‘metrosexual’ which praised a more sensitive, caring man who respected women have challenged the previous macho, aggressive version of hegemonic masculinity. While there may still be stigma around men expressing soft emotions, it is becoming more acceptable. Advertising may still promote hegemonic masculinity but has become inclusive of other forms of masculinity, if only not to alienate potential consumers. Men’s magazine’s which focus predominantly on titillating images of women and embody only one form of masculinity, have become less popular, while those that focus on advice and information which cater to alternative masculinities remain

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