A Critical Analysis of Katharina Lindner, 2004, Images of Women in General Interest and Fashion Magazine Advertisement from 1955 to 2002, Sex Roles: a Journal of Research, Vol.51, No. 7-8, Pp.409-421.

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Using sociologist Erving Goffman’s technique of frame analysis and a further development of the original coding scheme, Katharina Lindner conducted a study to examine the portrayal of women in advertisements in a general interest magazine (Time) and a women’s fashion magazine (Vogue). The study reveals that advertisements in Vogue portrayed women more stereotypically than did advertisements in Time. The results agreed with the prediction since Lindner considered Time a magazine intended for a broader audience containing more sophisticated content compared to Vogue’s focus on beauty and fashion. To the extent that this research is explanatory with results providing further and updated insight regarding women stereotypes in print advertisement, there are several limitations that should be considered when interpreting the study findings. The study that Lindner conducted was triggered by the idea that the visual advertisement is constantly bombarding people with images that “act as socializing agents in influencing our attitudes, values, behaviour” and ultimately validating the stereotyped gender roles. (Lindner 2004:409) Lindner’s study can be seen as a further development of Goffman’s earlier study on the same topic. Lindner believed that Goffman’s study had faults in credibility due to biased samples, in that he “deliberately chose advertisements from newspaper and magazines that showed gender differences that represented his preconceptions”. (Lindner 2004:411) To improve upon this, Lindner collected a more randomized sample consisting of issues from Time and Vogue in the first 4 weeks of January and June for the same 6 years. She also created a clear and concise coding system of nine different categories (four more categories than Goffman). After Lindner and a researching assistant had coded a total of 1,374 advertisements, statistics were published on their findings. The results showed that “78% of the magazine advertisements portrayed women stereotypically...
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