unit seven

Representation: Femininity & Culture



case study guidelines


CASE STUDY: Images of Women in Advertisements

1) You will begin preparing your case study research by first reading all the assigned materials for that class day. These are the texts everyone in class will read in advance of your session. These reading will introduce you to some important concepts, terms, and ideas.

2) You will want to preview the video we will be screening in class, Killing Us Softly 3 by Dr. Jean Kilbourne. This will give you an excellent intro to the issues and to the tools of how to analyze advertisements. She has another shorter excellent video, Slim Hopes, that will be of help to you.

3) Your cases study should research basic feminist ideas about media images of women, beauty, and women on display as commodities. You may want to think about how race, age, and ability play into these women's ideal images. You should also look for an example/s from media (print or TV ads) that you can analyze and present to the class as part of your presentation. The professor has placed the following on reserve in the library. The entire text of The Beauty Myth is also widely available in paperback and libraries. Some essays that will start you on the way with concepts and theories are:

  • The Beauty Myth, Naomi Wolf (excerpt) in Race Class & Gender

  • "Hunger as Ideology", Susan Bordo in our class text Consumer Society Reader

There is extensive and excellent literature in this field. You will be able to find many feminist analysis of beauty and media images of women.