Gender Advertising

Hi all, sorry for the delay in posting this, I was at an event all weekend.

Goffman talks about how advertisers use their advertisements to depict the “behavioral representations of our cultural assumptions about the nature of the sexes.” He also speaks about how these representations and expressions depict an “ideal conception of the two sexes and their structural relationship to each other, accomplishing this in part by indicating, again ideally, the alignment of the actor in the social situation.”

Goffman also talks about how commercial photographs involve performed poses that are presented in a style of being “only natural.” Are there any commercial photographs that you believe have poses and situations that are portrayed as “natural” but you have not experienced in your life? Are there any advertisements that you believe accurately depict “natural”  gender expressions? How do you think advertisements target transgender people with these idealistic representations of gender?


McLuhan – The Medium is the Message

McLuhan brings up a lot of interesting ideas about “medium” and “content” that I believe broaden our pre-existing understanding of what falls into each category.

McLuhan speaks about the idea, that “characteristic of all media, means that the ‘content’ of any medium is always another medium.” He then gives us the example of movies, which are a medium whose content could be a novel which is also a medium. I agree with this idea because content for most mediums in the sense of entertainment are other forms of medium. However, I don’t think that this idea can be extrapolated to all forms of medium which challenges McLuhan’s idea of medium, which is “any extension of ourselves.” Do you guys agree with McLuhan that a medium is any extension of ourselves or are there boundaries to what can be viewed as a medium? If there are boundaries can we agree that the content of the medium is another medium?

McLuhan also says that “the ‘message’ of any medium or technology is the change of scale or pace or pattern that it introduces into human affairs.” He then sites airplanes and railroads as being able to change the scale or pace of human affairs. What are your thoughts on this, does him bringing these technologies cloud our understanding of media and medium? Or do you think that the inclusion of these help strengthen his argument about mediums?