Iconic Representation of Women in Philippine Magazine Advertisements


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The knowledge of how women are represented in a specific advertisement to hit the target audience of the products being introduced is not only confined in a certain field of discipline and groups of people; instead it traverses to different aspects of humanity where consumerism is fundamental. Thus, this study attempted to determine the iconic representations of women and find out how these have shaped the role they portrayed in the magazine advertisements. Using the qualitative analysis particularly Ferdinand de Saussaure’s semiotic theory, icons on beauty products, vehicle, food and beverage, clothing and accessories, and vitamins and food supplements were analyzed. The analysis of results revealed that the iconic representations of women in magazine ads were relative size, feminine touch or touching any object, function ranking, the family, ritualisation of subordination, licensed withdrawal, body display, feminine power and women empowerment which come in various signifiers and signified concepts. These iconic representations shaped the roles of women portrayed in the ads which include their roles as sex object, mother/nurturer, physically attractive or decorative, working or career woman, dependent, recreational and authority.

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Publication Date

30 March, 2023

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About the Contributor

Claire H. Lacerna, LPT, PhD got a graduate degree in Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Linguistics at the University of Mindanao, Davao City, Philippines. She embarked upon a career as an educator, editor and researcher on the fields of linguistics, advertising, language education, and social sciences. Currently, she is the Extension and External Affairs Director at the same time the middle school Principal of San Agustin Institute of Technology, Valencia City, Bukidnon, Philippines.

About the Co-Contributor

Jocelyn B. Bacasmot, PhD is an educator in the areas of language teaching, special education, professional education, general education, and research in the undergraduate and graduate programs. She is also the current Program Coordinator in the Professional Schools for EDD, PhD in Filipino, and MAED Programs of the University of Mindanao, Davao City, Philippines.

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