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Sexually Objectified Male Portrayals in Fashion Advertisements: Swedish Male Adults Perspectives and Attitudes towards the male portrayals and its Effects on Brand Image
University of Borås, Faculty of Textiles, Engineering and Business.
University of Borås, Faculty of Textiles, Engineering and Business.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background: For decades, gender representation in advertising has occupied the attention of researchers, where especially advertising that depicts women sexually has been well examined. However, relatively few research works have investigated the sexualization and objectification of men in advertising, although it is starting to change.

Research Purpose: The purpose of this research is to analyze Swedish male's perspectives of male representations in fashion advertising, specifically, sexualized, and objectified male representations and its effects on brand image.

Methodology: For this study, a qualitative research method with a deductive approach was applied. The data collection was conducted through semi-structured interviews, using a topic guide based on the proposed analytical framework by Edell & Burke. 17 stimulus in the form of advertisements were chosen from internationally well-known brands as well as Swedish brands within the time frame of the last ten years, from 2013-2019. 17 semi-structured, in-depth interviews with Swedish male adults between the ages of 25-57 were conducted.

Findings: The findings, in relation to RQ1, showed that the aspects emphasized by Swedish male adults in discussing sexually objectifying images of men in advertising are: “lack of reality”, “body focus and lack of purpose”, “lack of new-thinking” and “lack of inclusion and self-identity with brands”. The findings, in relation to RQ2 showed that the men’s negative feelings, judgements, beliefs and attitudes about and towards most of the brands and advertisements resulted in a negative or ambivalent brand image. An exception to this was the men’s positive feelings, judgements, beliefs and attitudes towards the American Eagle and Dressman which resulted in mostly a positive brand image.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the findings of this thesis confirms firstly that the aspects emphasized by Swedish male adults in discussing sexually objectifying images of men in advertising are: “lack of of reality”, “body focus and lack of purpose”, “lack of new thinking” and “lack of inclusion and self-identity with brands”. Secondly, Swedish men’s attitudes towards sexually and objectified males in fashion advertisements resulted in a positive, negative, or alternatively, an ambivalent brand image being created, depending on the context the brand image was analyzed from.

Theoretical Contributions: This thesis contributes in several ways theoretically to literature on the topic of advertising, gender stereotyping and sexualizatiom in relation to the advertising of males. Firstly, it highlights a modern phenomena which has been overlooked in previous research. Secondly, it contributes to new areas of consumer attitudes, in this case Swedish male adults, which has not previously been thoroughly investigated. Lastly, this thesis contributes with updated, descriptive as well as specific information on the phenomena and ultimately creating and generating a better understanding of the phenomena: sexualized and objectified men in fashion advertising and the effects it has on brand image. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
Gender Stereotype, Sexual objectification, Advertising, Consumer attitudes, Male portrayals, Brand image, Attitude-towards-the-Ad model
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-22007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-22007DiVA, id: diva2:1369710
Subject / course
Textile management
Available from: 2019-11-13 Created: 2019-11-12 Last updated: 2019-11-13Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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