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Representing Fatherhood and Male Domesticity in American Advertising

Author(s): Wan-Hsiu Sunny Tsai | Moses Shumow

Journal: Interdisciplinary Journal of Research in Business
ISSN 2046-7141

Volume: 1;
Issue: 8;
Start page: 38;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Male Domesticity | Fatherhood | Gender Stereotype

This study examines how advertising represents men as spouses and parents in the family context. A content analysis of American prime-time commercials across different networks and cable channels was conducted. Findings indicate that men are frequently depicted only in background and marginal roles in the family context and are much less likely than women to be shown performing domestic chores and childcare activities. In particular, men are rarely shown engaging in housework or caring for children without the presence of their wives, while over half of female characters with children are shown as the sole performers of most domestic chores and caregiver tasks. When fathers are depicted in commercials, they generally show a lower involvement with their children, and they are predominantly shown playing with children, instead of being responsible for childcare duties.

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