A Critical Discourse Analysis of Female Role Assignment in Saudi and American Advertisements
This study analyzed Saudi and American detergent commercials to explore how they assign roles to women in their respective societies. The analysis employed Fairclough’s three-dimensional model of Critical Discourse Analysis: description, interpretation and explanation. In the first two steps, the analysis relied on linguistic and intertextual tools, such as ideologically contested words, overwording, hyponymy and presupposition. In the last step, the analysis also employed Eagly’s social role theory to further understand the stereotypical female roles and Fairclough’s common sense ideology to shed light on the reason behind these designated roles. The findings of the study revealed that these commercials relied on a limited number of stereotypical female roles, to appeal to the viewers and conform to conventional societal perceptions. The continuous representations of these typical roles in TV commercials have caused them to become naturalised and regarded as common sense. It follows from this that a deconstruction of such patriarchal ideology should be highly considered.
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