Communication scholar Sut Jhally applies the late sociologist Erving Goffman's groundbreaking analysis of advertising to the contemporary commercial landscape in this provocative new film about gender as a ritualized cultural performance. Uncovering a remarkable pattern of gender-specific poses, Jhally explores Goffman's central claim that the way the body is displayed in advertising communicates normative ideas about masculinity and femininity.
The film looks beyond advertising as a medium that simply sells products, and beyond analyses of gender that focus on biological difference or issues of surface objectification and beauty, taking us into the two-tiered terrain of identity and power relations. With its sustained focus on the fundamental importance of gender, power, and how our perceptions of what it means to be a man or a woman get reproduced and reinforced on the level of culture in our everyday lives, The Codes of Gender is certain to inspire discussion and debate across a range of disciplines.
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