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A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Representations of Females in Printed Advertisements (Case Study of Payame Yaghoot Medical Health Iranian Journal

Print advertisements not only directly try to persuade buyers but also indirectly play a role in shaping their social attitude. An interesting area of research that as yet has received little or no attention is the study of the representations of
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   The Journal of Applied Linguistics and Applied Literature: Dynamics and Advances,  Volume 7, Issue 1, Winter and Spring, 2019, pp. 35-45 A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Representations of Females in Printed Advertisements (Case Study of Payame Yaghoot Medical Health Iranian Journal ) Mohammad Hossein Yousefi (Corresponding Author),  Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics, Islamic  Azad University of Bonab Branch, Bonab, Iran Email: mhh.yousefi@gmail.com Farzad Rostami,  PhD Candidate in Applied Linguistics, Islamic  Azad University of Bonab Branch, Bonab, Iran Email:   farzadr79@gmail.com Abstract Print advertisements not only directly try to persuade buyers but also indirectly play a role in shaping their social attitude. An interesting area of research that as yet has received little or no attention is the study of the representations of females in magazines with mostly women readers. This study examined print advertisements in local family and health magazine from a Critical Discourse Analysis perspective. It mainly focused on the use of women in advertisements and strategies employed by advertisers to manipulate and influence their customers. The analysis was based on Fairclough ‘ s three-dimensional framework. It demonstrated how the ideology of ― women ‘ s portrait ‖  was produced and reproduced through advertisements in popular local women ‘ s magazines. The findings indicated that advertisers used various strategies to take advantages of women. The advertisements promoted an idealized lifestyle and directed readers to a certain extent into believing whatever was advertised was indeed true. This study revealed how the ideologies of beauty and health were constructed and reconstructed through magazines by stereotyping how advertised products were synonymous with a better life. Advertising language was used to control people ‘ s minds. Thus people in power (advertisers) used language as a means to exercise control over others. Keywords:  Critical Discourse Analyses, Gender Role, Advertisement, Magazine ARTICLE INFO   Article history:   Received: Thursday, December 4, 2018 Accepted: Saturday, May 9, 2019 Published: Saturday, September 7, 2019 Available Online: Monday, August 26, 2019 DOI: 10.22049/jalda.2019.26392.1103 Online ISSN: 2383-2460; Print ISSN:2383-591x       A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Representations of Femalesin Printed Advertisements (Case Study of Payame Yaghoot Medical Health Iranian Journal)   36 Introduction The sever contest in attracting likely customers has forced advertisers to employ vigorous advertising strategies and techniques such as, set a problem that can only  be solved by using their products. Similarly, cosmetics companies advertise their  products to convince women to buy from them and use their products constantly. Magazines are good examples of a powerful media which regularly reach to a large number of women. The Persian Language magazines are constantly flooded with health and beauty product advertisements. Some of them provide quite a lot of information such as, the background of the product, its effectiveness, feedback or testimonies by celebrity ‘ s or women who have used the product whereas some are rather short and condensed. These advertisements tend to manipulate readers to a certain extent into believing whatever that is advertised is indeed true. The social constructions formed by society bring varied ideologies that are constr[ucted and legitimized by the use of language. ― Language being the basic tool that constructs these ideologies equally constructs identities of social groups that are gender related ‖  (Filekova, 2011, p. 3). Women being the major consumers of the advertised commodities play a significant role in both promotion of these ideologies and advancement of the advertising industry. The way they are portrayed in advertising in relation to the power they possess in comparison to men is therefore a crucial aspect to be studied. The main collaborators in advertising are the producers, consumers, and advertising companies. Advertisements arrive to consumers hand through different media such as internet, radio, television, magazines, and newspapers. In order to ascertain that advertisements are capable of reaching the target group, advertisers should take the advantage of various media. For example, if the desired group is the generation Y group, then internet can be the best source as many young people nowadays are connecting to internet when purchasing products such as clothes, gadgets, books, and so on. As print media such as magazines and newspapers can reach both young and old alike, advertisers and manufacturers of products take opportunity to promote their product through this media. Visuals and language in the advertisements play a pertinent role to attract women (Ravikumar, 2012). Courtney and Lockeretz (1971) conducted a content analysis of 729 ads appearing in eight general interest and news magazines during 1970. They found few women to be employed or work outside the home. Most employed women were entertainers; none were shown in professional or executive roles. This was true of  both ads showing women only and those showing men and women together, although the frequency of employed women increased when men and women were shown together. Women were rarely shown interacting with one another. Their conclusion was that stereotypical portrayals of women were dominant.  The Journal of Applied Linguistics and Applied Literature: Dynamics and Advances,  Volume 7, Issue 1, Winter and Spring, 2019, pp. 35-45 37 Cook (2001) points out that advertisements inform, persuade, remind, influence, and perhaps change opinions, emotions, and attitudes. In other words, his contention is that advertisements do not only sell products but change society and make people buy things they do not want or need. He also feels that advertisements do give warnings or information to people. Hence, advertisements can help create awareness, construct identities and attitude. The ― ideal ‖  woman is stereotyped through visual and textual aspects of the advertisements. Advertisers use visual and linguistic means to persuade their audience. It is argued that ― advertising is the most influential institution of socialization in modern society ‖  (Jhally, 1995, pp. 79-80). This scenario has brought into perspective on how people who are in control of advertisements manage to exercise their power and at the same time manipulate women ‘ s beliefs. Lau and Zuraidah (2010) perceived that advertising has been subtly distorting reality and manipulating consumers to make them buy a way of life as well as goods. Thus studies on advertisements in women ‘ s magazines would be of great relevance to advertisers. In order to know how advertisers influence women, it is necessary first to understand what advertising is all about. Advertisements are important but not many studies have been conducted in the local context from a CDA perspective. Thus there is indeed a need for studies to investigate the use of language and other semiotic modalities in health and beauty  products advertisements. The findings of such research efforts can contribute further to the field of advertising as well as language and society. This study will address the following research questions: 1)   What are the linguistic features used in beauty product advertisements? 2)   What are the discursive techniques employed in beauty product advertisements to manipulate women? 3)   How are women represented in magazine commercials? Methodology & Theoretical Framework   Advertisements are seen as media discourse as they involve language and social  processes. Hence this framework is used to show the link between the nature of social practice and the properties of language ― texts ‖ . A qualitative design was adopted for this study. It was appropriate in this study which seeks to investigate how discourse in advertisements involves people ‘ s construction of meanings. To this end, beauty and health products advertisements in Persian Language local magazines were analyzed. Hence for a descriptive analysis, a qualitative analysis is more appropriate rather than a quantitative analysis. Purposive sampling was done as the study was to investigate only on beauty and health  products advertisements where not many studies have been conducted namely face cream, mascara and eye cream, hair care, etc.     A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Representations of Femalesin Printed Advertisements (Case Study of Payame Yaghoot Medical Health Iranian Journal)   38 Data was collected from local family and health care magazine,  Payame Yaghoot Medical health Iranian Journal that is published bimonthly from  November 2017 to February 2018. Every advertisement on beauty treatment and  prevention from these magazines was retrieved and analyzed. The data analysis is based on Fairclough ‘ s (2001) Critical Discourse Analysis framework. Hence this framework is used to show the link between the nature of social practice and the properties of language ― texts ‖ . His three-dimensional framework includes a conception of discourse as text (micro level), discourse  practice (meso level) and sociocultural practice (macro level). Its aim is to explore the relationships among language, ideology, and power and to find out how advertisers persuade the women to buy their products. Thus, this study focused on analyzing the linguistic features of beauty and health products advertisements in family magazine in Iran and highlights how the use of language tends to manipulate women beliefs based on the content of the advertisements. Fig. 1. Fairclough ’ s (2001) three-dimensional model   Text ― The analyses of texts include linguistic analysis in terms of grammar, semantics, the sound system and cohesion-organization above the sentence ‖  (Fairclough, 1995b, p. 57). In a text there are linguistic features and organization of concrete instances of discourse. In determining discourse of a text, description, which is the first step in textual analysis focuses on the linguistic features of the material including verbal or visual materials. The checklist that Fairclough uses is based on Halliday ‘ s (1994) Introduction to Functional Grammar. Discourse Practice According to Fairclough (1995b, pp. 58-59), ― the discourse practice dimension has two facets: the institutional process (editorial procedures) and the discourse processes (changes the text go through during production and consumption) ‖ . Fairclough says ― discourse practice straddles the division between society and culture on the one hand  The Journal of Applied Linguistics and Applied Literature: Dynamics and Advances,  Volume 7, Issue 1, Winter and Spring, 2019, pp. 35-45 39 and discourse language and text on the other  ‖  (ibid, p. 60). At the discourse practice level, Fairclough (1995b) calls the present linguistic analysis ― Intertextual analysis ‖  (p. 61). Intertextual analysis focuses on the borderline between text and discourse practice in the analytical framework. ― Intertextual analysis is looking at the text from the  perspective of discourse practice, looking at the traces of discourse practice in the text ‖  (Fairclough 1995b, p. 61). Sociocultural Practice CDA assumes that there is a dialectical relationship between particular discursive events and the situations and social structures that design it, that is, between language and other elements of social life. CDA aims at critically investigating social inequality as it is expressed constituted, legitimized, and so on by language use. As put by Wodak ― Most critical discourse analysts would thus endorse Habermas ‘  claim that ‗ language is also a medium of dominance and social force. It serves to legitimize relations of organized power. Insofar as the legitimization of  power relations, are not articulated, language is also ideological ‘‖  (Habermas, 1967,  p. 259 as cited in Wodak, 1996). Results and discussion The data were collected from three advertisements. They were chosen purposefully  based on the need we want to meet. One is for prevention of disorders in women monthly period. The others are about face skin care and hair care and treatment. They are taken from  Payame Yaghoot Medical health Journal   in colorful version. Picture 1  
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