Project 1: A Study of Gendered Portrayals of Women in Irish Magazines from 1960s housewife to the 21st century working woman
Advertising plays a vital role in people's everyday lives. It has the power to influence how we see ourselves and how society views us. This thesis focuses on Irish magazine advertisements and covers to identify the main themes of the visualisation of the traditional housewife based on Goffman’s theories and Gillian Rose’s methodologies. Previous research has been made on gendered portrayals in advertising internationally, this thesis adds to the knowledge by focusing on the main themes of the image of the housewife in magazines in Ireland during the 1960s and the 21st century. This thesis used Gillian Rose’s Visual Methodologies to understand coding categories. Content analysis was used to examine the main themes of the visualisation of the housewife in Irish advertising in the 1960s and the 21st century. A total of 32 magazine advertisements and covers were coded from various years during the 1960’s and the 21st century from Women’s Way, The Landmark, Image, Irish Country Magazine, Irish Tatler and An Gael Óg of which themes of the traditional housewife were present within seven categories. Content analysis findings revealed recurrent evidence of the stereotypical housewife portrayal in the 1960s, as well as women portrayed as working women in magazine advertisements in the 21st century. According to these results, women in the 21st century are depicted more often in working roles rather than the role of the housewife. Lastly, an exploration of artworks from various international and Irish artists was also explored to identify artistic responses that have challenged stereotypical gender portrayals of women.