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About the film

The Codes of Gender

pop culture beauty sociology advertising gender gender roles femininity socialization power relations masculinity social science hierarchy western society social structures ervig goffman analysis commercialism gender ideals ritualized cultural performance objectification subordination infantilization

The Codes of Gender

Release Date: October 13, 2010

Year    :   2010
Slogan    :   «Identity and performance in popular culture»
Genres    :   Documentary
Production Companies    :   Media Education Foundation
Director    :   Sut Jhally
Producers    :   
Writers    :   Sut Jhally
RunTime    :   73 mins.

Arguing that advertising not only sells things, but also ideas about the world, media scholar Sut Jhally offers a blistering analysis of commercial culture's inability to let go of reactionary gender representations. Jhally's starting point is the breakthrough work of the late sociologist Erving Goffman, whose 1959 book The Presentation of the Self in Everyday Life prefigured the growing field of performance studies. Jhally applies Goffman's analysis of the body in print advertising to hundreds of print ads today, uncovering an astonishing pattern of regressive and destructive gender codes. By looking beyond advertising as a medium that simply sells products, and beyond analyses of gender that tend to focus on either biology or objectification, The Codes of Gender offers important insights into the social construction of masculinity and femininity, the relationship between gender and power, and the everyday performance of cultural norms.

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