Mirrors of Masculinity: Representation and Identity in Advertising Images
Jonathan E. Schroeder
Rochester Institute of Technology
York University - Schulich School of Business
Consumption Markets and Culture, Vol. 7, pp. 21-52, 2004
Through explication of a visual research method, this paper theorizes how masculine identity interacts with consumption - of imagery, products, desires, and passions in advertising and consumer culture. We analyze the male body as a discursive 'effect' created at the intersection of consumption and several marketing discourses such as advertising, market segmentation, and visual communication, balancing between brand strategy - what the marketer intends - and brand community - the free appropriation of meaning by the market. The paper's contribution rests in extending previous work on male representation into historical, ontological, and photographic realms, providing a necessary complement between understanding advertising meaning as residing within managerial strategy or wholly subsumed by consumer response. We argue that greater awareness of the connections between the traditions and conventions of visual culture and their impact on the production and consumption of advertising images leads to enhanced ability to understand how advertising works as a representational system and signifying practice.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 56
Keywords: Advertising, Imagery, Identity, Representation, Gender, Masculinity
JEL Classification: M31, M37, Z10Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: February 24, 2004
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