Race, gender, and new technology advertising.

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Abstract

This study investigates representations of gender and race in recent advertisements for technology products and services through the lens of semiotics and critical race and gender theories. This thesis comprises a quantitative and qualitative examination of 50 of the most recent commercials by the top five Fortune 500 technology companies. The researcher coded and quantitatively analyzed a total of 126 characters and qualitatively assessed commercials for symbols, stereotypes and observations about interactions between the characters and the technology products. Overall, the advertisements targeted upper-class Caucasian males and associated technology with power, innovation, and progress. Results of the analyses showed a significant bias toward the characterization of technology’s target market as Caucasian and male. Advertisers often characterized women according to traditional gendered stereotypes, emotional and sexual appeals. The implications of these findings for understanding the persistence of gender inequality in technology marketing and cultural beliefs surrounding gender, race, and technology are discussed.

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Technology. Race. Gender. Advertising.

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