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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Jon Schamber

First Committee Member

Kenneth Day

Second Committee Member

Linda L. Nolan


This study investigated the portrayal of men's and women's occupational roles and settings in magazine advertising from 1958-1988. A review of the literature revealed there was a need to update investigations focusing on women's working/nonworking roles. Moreover, there was a gap in the literature investigating the portrayal of men's roles. A content analysis of 240 randomly selected advertisements indicated there were no significant changes in the portrayal of occupational roles. However, the data suggest that the settings in which women were depicted changed more than the settings for men. The majority of the ads showed women in outside/recreational and no settings. Moreover, women were pictured in more varied settings than men including nontraditional portrayals. Although there was a slight increase in the portrayal of women in working roles, the increment was diminished in its significance by the high level of decorative role portrayals. According to past researchers, such a neutral portrayal may be a means of offending fewer consumers and avoiding making judgments about sex roles altogether.



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