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The Male Body as Advertisement

Masculinities in Hispanic Media


Edited By Juan Rey

The Male Body as Advertisement: Masculinities in Hispanic Media offers a multidisciplinary view of the body of men, of its practices and attributes, of its features, and, most importantly, of its use as a persuasive and expressive resource. Just as it occurred with the female body, the male body has become an object of desire in some instances and an object of expression in others.
This collection of essays represents several developments in the field of communication studies. It is the first time that a study on the body of men in the Hispanic media has been carried out using film, television, internet, billboards, and so forth. This book also equates men to women in the media world. Lacking its own tradition, the male body has followed in the footsteps of the female body. It has been objectified, stylized, and transformed into a weapon of persuasion to reach the modern man.
The Male Body as Advertisement can be useful for students of communication, anthropology, sociology, gender studies, and cultural studies. It will serve graduate students as a bibliographic reference for research on the male body as well as undergraduate students whose programs address issues related to gender studies. This work is also written to reach a wider audience beyond the university.
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Different Bodies, Different Men



In order to achieve the largest possible audience and a greater understanding by the public, mass media resorts to the repertoire offered by dominant discourse to construct its messages. Undoubtedly, such discourse determines the highly stereotyped vision of reality that mass media provides. Not only advertising, which is traditionally accused of perpetuating certain patterns and behaviors, but also television and film (at least the ones considered to be “commercial”), and even journalism, are based on stereotypes and archetypes to construct their stories. Precisely, the first conclusion to be drawn from the representation of the body discussed in the chapters in this volume is the alteration of reality (in this case: the male body) to transform it into a simpler, more schematic, more conservative, more accurate new reality, and, certainly, to make it closer to the dominant discourse. In this sense, either through advertisements, posters, movies, and television shows or even through what is shared (or not shared) in social networks, the sender always abides by some canons (enshrined in dominant discourse) that, while they change over time, have a slower evolution than it actually appears to be.

The second aspect that the book’s authors agree on is the connection between the representation of the body and the social context to which it belongs, whether such representation allows for continuity or offers a break from the prevailing sociocultural norm, as was the case with the chameleon-like David Bowie...

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