A Social Semiotic Analysis Stereotypical Representation of Gender Roles in Both Algerian and American Billboard Advertisements

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Université Mouloud Mammeri Tizi Ouzou
The current dissertation is concerned with the stereotypical representation of gender roles in both Algerian and American billboard advertisements. This work is a corpus-based study, which consists of twelve pictures taken from Google images (six from the Algerian context, and six others from the American one) that include men and women separately. This research is centered around two objectives. First, it attempts to investigate the way men and women are depicted visually in the selected billboard advertisements in the two aforementioned contexts. Second, this study strives to to compare between the Algerian and the American visual depiction of gender in billboards advertisements by adopting the Social Semiotic theory ‘Visual Grammar’ proposed by Kress and Van Leeuwen (1996, 2006) relying on the Representational and the Interactive Metafunctions and the Social Semiotic Approach developed by Goffman (1979) as a tool for decoding gender behavior and roles. To reach these aims a qualitative method is adopted. The findings reveal that gender images are stereotyped in both contexts (Algeria and the USA) in the billboard advertisements by making use of various semiotic resources such as: process types, gaze, point of view, social distance, feminine touch, function ranking, family, ritualization of subordination and licenced withdrawal. Moreover, the comparison has shown that both genders in the aforementioned contexts share some similarities and slight differences in their visual portrayal. It can be concluded from the results that females are represented in passive roles and they are considered as decorative objects, subordinate, powerless, and vulnerable, while men are presented in dynamic and active roles, dominant and powerful
30cm ; 54p.
Advertisements, Billboards, Gender roles, Social Semiotics
Didactics of Foreign Languages