Title page for ETD etd-09302008-084418

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Nowosenetz, Tessa
Email tessanowos@hotmail.com
URN etd-09302008-084418
Document Title The construction of masculinity and femininity in alcohol advertisements in menís magazines in South Africa : a discourse analysis
Degree Master of Arts
Department Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Ms A Pauw Supervisor
  • masculinity
  • femininity
  • gender
  • social constructionism
  • alcohol advertisements
  • menís magazines
Date 2008-04-14
Availability unrestricted
This thesis focuses on how masculinity and femininity are constructed in alcohol advertisements in the print form, specifically in For Him Magazine (FHM) and Gentlemenís Quarterly (GQ) . Alcohol advertisements address the reader in a way that sells the lifestyle that is associated with the product. Within the lifestyle depicted in the advertisement, there may also be an identity and a specific gender identity that the reader may be encouraged to incorporate in order to achieve the lifestyle associated with the advertised product. Advertising in general has often been implicated in constructing masculinity, and in particular, femininity in narrow or restricted ways. South African advertising has been found to depict women as passive sex objects and men as strong, intelligent and as the dominant gender. The mass media and advertising use and extend upon existing societal Ďnormsí and discourses regarding the construction of masculinity and femininity by sending these discourses or constructions back into society in the form of advertising. A discourse analysis was employed to investigate to what extent advertising has used gender based societal discourses as well as what dominant structures or portrayals of gender appear in South African alcohol advertising. By using the qualitative method of discourse analysis as well as a social constructionist paradigm, several discourses were identified. These included the discourses of patriarchy, violence as a masculine quality, men being unemotional and independent, womenís bodies as sexual objects, male companionship, a heterosexual norm, an anti-hegemonic masculinity and a discourse of glamorous heterosexuality. The results of the analysis discussed how in alcohol advertising, women are still constructed in a limiting and sometimes sexual manner whereas men are constructed in a more variable way.

© University of Pretoria 2007


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