unit seven
Representation: Femininity & Culture



cultural artifact: advertisements

CASE STUDY: images of women in advertisements

reading assignment:

  • ruth sidel, "mixed messages," feminist frameworks, eds. jaggar & rothenberg, pp. 6-13, 3rd ed. (ELECTRONIC RESERVE)
  • The Theory Toolbox, "Gender" pp. 164-175
  • john berger, ways of seeing, chapters 2 & 3
  • CS concepts handouts: essentialism & difference; feminism

in class screening:

killing us softly
  • killing us softly 3

dr. jean kilbourne , Media Education Foundation

study guide links below

Jean Kilbourne's pioneering work helped develop and popularize the study of gender representation in advertising. Her award-winning Killing us Softly films have influenced millions of college and high school students across two generations and on an international scale. In this important new film, Kilbourne reviews if and how the image of women in advertising has changed over the last 20 years. With wit and warmth, Kilbourne uses over 160 ads and TV commercials to critique advertising's image of women. By fostering creative and productive dialogue, she invites viewers to look at familiar images in a new way, that moves and empowers them to take action.

at the end of this unit you should be able to define these key terms:

  • Feminism
  • Gender
  • Essentialism

additional resources:

case study guidelines for student presentations

Student Class Notes pt 1 [femininity] (c) Joseph Varrisco

external links:

online study guide for killing us softly 3 (html)

watch: s. zizek on feminity, fantasy and hitchcock's vertigo from the pervert's guide to cinema