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Sociology 2310: Culture & Mass Media
Choose a pictorial advertisement with at least one human representation – images with just a body part, or where a non-human is anthropomorphized will work for this assignment. Please either download the image or take a picture of it if you use a magazine advertisement. Include the image of the advertisement in your paper. Your selection may include implications for race and/or disability, but the central aim of this assignment is to talk about gender and sexuality. Please include a discussion of race and disability implications where appropriate, since gender/sexuality is intersectional.
Single spaced, Times New Roman, 12pt font, 1 inch margins.
Describe the image visually: State what the image looks like. What do the objects and human subjects look like? What colors are used? What is the layout like; what is the visual relationship between the objects and subjects? Try not to add any interpretation to this. (4-5 sentences)
Describe the words on the advertisement: Describe the words’ literal meanings (denotations). Describe the font(s) used and size of font(s). Try not to add any interpretation to this. (3-4 sentences)
Possible interpretations: List as many interpretations of the imagery and text as you can think of (connotations). This step may take a few days of brainstorming. What is this advertisement saying about gender and sexuality? What does it say about identity and consumption? What does it say about social relationships and power in relationships? Try to keep your list of interpretations limited to what various consumers might reasonably get out of the advertisement. This is not the section for critiquing the ad using sociological concepts. (short paragraph or set of bullet points)
Pick most likely interpretations: From your list of possible interpretations, pick the one or two that you think is most likely the received message on the part of the consumer. Justify your selection. (3-4 sentences)
Sociological analysis: Utilizing our readings, lectures, and films we’ve watched in class, dig deeper into what is happening sociologically with these images. Does the advertisement objectify bodies? How does it accomplish this? What types of bodies are objectified? How is this particular instance of representing bodies being used to sell products? Are there any post-feminist themes? Make specific references to at least two course materials (readings and/or films) in this section to develop your discussion. (8-10 sentences)