The construction of gender identity: A semiotic analysis

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Gender is considered an axis of social order. Its categorisation into masculinity and femininity is socially constructed and maintained in everyday life through major social institutions (Clark and Page, 2005; Mackie, 1994). Advertising, as an aspect of the mass media, is a major social and economic institution through which notions of masculinity and femininity are promoted at a symbolic level (Gilbert and Taylor, 1991; Goldman, 1992). It is suggested that the role of advertising is to maintain cultural hegemony through providing us with socially constructed ways of viewing and making sense of our world (Goldman, 1992). It has been remarked that students may be learning more social science from television advertisements than from any other formal or informal educational setting.

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Book Chapter

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