Study Questions 10: Th Mar 13: Audience Analysis and Gender Bending
1. What is "gay window dressing" and how does it differ from ads directly marketed to gays, lesbians and bisexuals?
2. How do you explain Sender's finding that in the ads "masculinity" tended to be constructed in by contrasting men to women," while "femininity" tended to be constructed by comparing women to other women?
3. What factors account for the fact that many of the images of men alone could be fairly easily read from either a hetero- or a homosexual subject position? Why is the less true of images of a woman alone?
4. How does Sender explain the greater difficulty of making "lesbian readings" of ambiguous ads compared to "gay male readings"?
5.Crane uses the concept of "conflicted hegemony." What does she mean by this, and how does it relate to her article?
6. "Younger women are said to view images identified with hegemonic femininity not as signs of weakness and passivity in women but as indications of being 'in control.' Madonna's attitude toward her sexuality exemplifies this point of view." Does this observation ring true to your experience of attitudes in yourself and/or your peers?
7. What range of response to fashion images are represented in the focus group? Where would you place yourself along that range of responses?
8. How does Crane characterize "postmodern" ideas about identity, and how did her focus groups respond to them?
9. What have been some of the major changes in the style of fashion ads over the last few decades, and what do you think accounts for those changes?
10. What limitations do you see in the methods used by Crane? How might those limitations have shaped the conclusions she draws?