A Sociological Review of Marketing Molly and Melville: Dating in a Post-modern, Consumer Society
From the late 1980s, more and more commodities were being marketed with increasingly number of customers, women and men. This could be a new phenomenon that people wanted to make they look better to catch the fast-developing world and consumer society. Thousands of heterosexuals dating advertisements, like from magazines and newspapers, so they need improve their qualifications that will be described in the advertisements to attract the isomerism.
In this point, men and women got different ways to presenting themselves like Jagger said in her article: “… In describing the self, women were more likely to stress their appearance, whereas men were more likely to emphasise their finical and educational status and occupation, consistent with traditional ‘sex-role’ expectations. ” (Jagger 2001) <1> It is true that the way people developing new relationships were depending on selective consumption by others, so dating advertisements are chances for people can represent themselves.
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Therefore the words ‘masculinity’ and ‘femininity’ became very important, because the changing meanings of them were part of the consumer society and new definition of self-identity. Men and women are more equally likely to market their bodies when advertising the self and seemed both sex had paid more attention to lifestyle but not work-place or domestic stuff. Like Jagger argued in her article, that major social transformations nearly has been done during the 20-century, along with the rise of media and advertising, the foundation of consumer culture has been established.
Based on this new social culture, identities of individual has been described by the way of leisure and consumption much more than work and production, and the changed meaning of self-worth which is a very important factor while advertising a unitary self. Femininity and Masculinity in a Post-modern Society It has been argued in Jagger’s article that ‘femininity’ and ‘masculinity’ were to describer women and men typically since long time ago. Women used to be identified as emotional, caring, domestically, and always should make themselves look beautiful as objectives in men’s gaze.
These analyses are consistent to the self-identity of women in advertising, majority of the women are more likely to stress their physical attractiveness but not something else. Yet this view of subordinate femininity was re-appraised in the 1980s as stereotyped social identity, people think that consumer culture provided women much more important resources of being an individual new feminine self than before. That means woman should have more opportunity to work, live, or even play with their personal identity and take pleasure of making different roles and masks, to do whatever they wanted equitable. As Jagger pointed out, however, Being a ‘professional’, ‘independent’, ‘career’ woman have been identified.
In sharp contrast to the old terrain of domestic femininity, these ‘new women’, are held to do things for their own satisfaction and gratification, not merely to attract and keep a man. ” (Jagger 2001) <2> In other side, the contemporary debate on men and masculinity has been suggested that it is no longer a simple unitary male identity. Traditionally, men have been identified as ‘strong’, ‘brave’, ‘responsible’, and usually deal with some hard and dangerous social work. This view of identity determined that men have to be cool and cold.
Thus caused this kind of characters become very popular in women. For example, ROBOCOP, ROCKY and RAMBO, these were some images of ‘hard-man’; even all of them are violent. Since 1990s, however, this identify of men has been challenged by the value of ‘new man’, who is warmer, softer, and more emotional. They being required not only be a worker or even a successful businessman, but also should take at least half of the domestic responsibility as a good father and a good husband. Moreover, muscles now understood as sexy sign of male but not the symbol of working class and rough person.
More and more men with masculinity wanted to be enjoyed by female viewer as objectives in the new order of the consumer society. “It is clamed, therefore, men have become embodied subject, enjoying the same kind of attention that in the past was the preserve of women. ” (Jagger 2001) <3> Although the fast-developing consumer society provided both men and women resources of self-identity, required them to change the gender stereotypes, there are still a lot of problems. Some researchers consider that the power of traditional culture still strong or even more signifies. Both men and women are influenced by this cultural ideal.
In one hand, it has been argued that a more limited number of the female advertisers still emphasise their physical attractiveness, their caring and ability to listen when representing themselves. A ‘professional’, ‘successful’ woman always was proved negative and ‘masculine’. Many solutions have been used for fix the problem. Some women construct themselves as mixed subjects that means they can be a good housewives and holding a demanding job at the same time. Also some female advertisers construct themselves in characters that borrowed from media, or describe the appearance of their body directly.
It is a truth that many women have been advised by the media for how to be a ‘new femininity’ and what that kind of women might look like, identified as subject of gaze. However, these ‘new femininities’ did not walk too far from the old notion. They continue to represent themselves in a relatively limited number of images of female selfhood, particularly with regard to their bodies. In the other hand, it seems that masculinity takes many forms to the extent that men produced more versions of the self than women did. Some of them represent themselves as hard working, successful and some others even emphasise their bodies.
This could prove that the consumer society paid more attention to the consumption market, which decided that the male’s body also could be the ‘product’ being sold. But there are small number of ‘new man’ that we can not lose sight of: “For instance, some men constructed themselves as caring, sharing, ’emotional’ and ‘sensitive’ individuals, anxious to share in the joy of domesticity. ” (Jagger 2001) <4> This consist with the ‘trait’ of consumer society, which apply the masculine subjectivity is complex and multiple, not just unitary.
Therefore, as Jagger considered, there are diverse way of being a man, in this complex and multiple post-modern worlds. CONCLUSION: Dating in a post-modern, consumer society through advertisement could be a good experience of self-identify and representing. The consumer culture has provided individuals some important resources for women and men, but it seems that these resources are not equally available to all of them. Although the meaning of ‘femininity’ and ‘masculinity’ are changing a lot to fit the consumer culture, women still got more problems when dealing with the new setting of social conditions than these to men.
Actually, women become more independent and men become more sensitive nowadays, and both of these changes are relatively to the contemporary consumer culture, which gives people more opportunities to identify themselves. All of these ideas have been critically discussed in Jagger’s article, which she gives some nice suggestion to people about self-identity and play diversity roles in this consumer society. Not only for advertisers, but also for all of us who care about ourselves.