Goffman (1972)

Goffman (1972)

Basic Understanding

Goffman’s theory was based on how men and women were portrayed within the media. His theory was that men are seen as masculine, dominant and authoritative figures due to things as their body language, their masculine voices and how they are usually put into the frame. This would explain why male voices are usually used as voice over’s as they give that low tone and authoritative voice which gives an effect of more serious effect for the advert itself whereas if  a women was to do it, majority of the time it would be a light hearted advert or, as Goffman’s theory would suggest, a more sexual approach.

 Goffman’s theory of how women are portrayed is different compared to men, and his theory was that women are represented as a sexual object in which they show a blank or inviting face towards the viewer (sexually).  Women are also presented in ‘parts’ (dismemberment of the body) meaning that only parts of their body are shown (e.g. breasts, legs, lips and hips) instead of their whole body and people usually use these images/parts to advertise things that aren’t really relevant to the body parts of the women at all, such as mobile phones. The reason they do this is to sell the products as people remember this image and actually buy the product.

 Main points to remember

  • Men portrayed as; dominant, masculine, authoritative and intelligent.
  • Women are portrayed as; sexual objects, not as intelligent as men



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