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gendered adjectives in magazines

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Transcript of gendered adjectives in magazines

4 magazines: 2 'mainstream', 2 'alternative'
what makes a

GENDERED

adjective?
Okamoto
Tuesday, March 18th, 2014
APLX 112
Our Hypothesis:
Our data
What we're looking for:
Recall our conversation in class about gendered body parts
Why adjectives? Do they matter to readers?
COVER
DATA
AD
DATA
- Motschenbacher looked at gendered body parts and their usage in ads in two magazines- Cosmopolitan and Men's Health
In conjunction with our above main hypothesis we also predicted that there would be
more gendered adjectives
on the
covers
of all four magazines


-

-Adjectives are crucial in emulating a feeling that a consumer will get from a product, hence why advertisers include them so often
Quantity of Adjectives & Percentage of Gendered Adjectives
Heiko Motschenbacher (2009)
(hint: YES!)
The
ratio
of gendered adjectives to total adjectives will be
higher
in the two '
mainstream
' magazines
Gendered Adjectives in Magazines
Past Research
Neutral

Women Only

great adorable
terrific charming
cool sweet
neat lovely
divine

Lakoff (1975)- As quoted by Bucholtz (2004)
Cierra Hamilton-Larrabee
An Analysis of Mainstream and Alternative Publications in Relation to Gender Performance
- We analyzed each of the four magazine's covers for total adjectives and gendered adjectives
- In our analysis we were hoping to find how the quantity of adjectives and type (socially gendered or not) relate to the promotion of gender performance
-We analyzed five ads in each the four magazines in question and cross- examined the results of their respective adjective quantities
-The ads in each of the four publications vary by gender audience, therefore we expect to see female and male gendered adjectives with the chance for minimal overlap
- The idea behind this research is that the gendered body parts & what the ad's product help to promote gender performance. Therefore, these words help illicit the feeling that you need product X to be a better female/male
-Similar to gendered body parts (lips, abs), gendered adjectives also related a social gender with a lexical item (pretty, buff)
How many gendered adjectives can we find in this
lipstick
ad?
rich

creamy
bold
nude
luxurious
intense
- Motschenbacher argues, these lexical items relate to "linguistic gender construction"
-Linguistic gender construction deals with using language to shape and create a gender identity
ADJECTIVES ARE ESPECIALLY EMPLOYED AS ATTENTION GRABBERS ON THE COVERS OF MAGAZINES
Neutral Adjectives and Women's Adjectives

adventurous, decisive, active, sense of humor, and independent
belong to MASCULINE stereotype items
Phillip M. Smith (1985)
Study consisted of:
134 students (70 women, 64 men)
66 non-students (30 women, 36 men)
age 19-26
Participants were given:
Questionnaires with 120
personality-descriptive adjectives
& questions about participant’s attitudes towards words

Why Ads?

“Unless the individual feels a want it is almost useless to discuss a solution. Consequently, making a man want (if he does not already want) is the more fundamental of the two aims and, for the sake of advertising efficiency, should come first.”
(Strong, 1926)

appearance-oriented, sensitive, warm
are stereotypically believed to describe a

WOMAN'S
personality
WHAT WE FOUND
Why do we find this study (and others like it) to be important and relevant ?
Let's take a look at some statistics about adolescents
There were far more gendered adjectives in the women's magazines
More gender neutral terms in the men's magazines
We also found more gendered terms on the corers of the 'mainstream' magazines
More Findings
Questions? Comments? Concerns for the future?
PS: Happy Finals Everyone!
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