<The Gender ADs Project>

 

Reductionism

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<Background: In western society, reductionism has a negative impact on people. By engaging in reductionism, we deny the fluidity of life, and we miss out because we are focused on things, parts, entities, and not on wholes. We often find that women's bodies are reduced to parts in advertising. This occurs as women's subjectivities are linked to their bodies and, by extension, specific parts of their bodies. Like many of the exhibits in the Gender Ads Project, the trope of reductionism reflects a devaluation of women though a specific means. The means involves reducing a woman to a collection of parts, and not accepting the uniqueness, identity, and personality of the woman. These ads illustrate this troubling connection to popular culture. Resources: Here is an article dealing with reductionism by Emily Martin.  The Ads: Consider the means in which the following ads reduce women to parts of their bodies. Ads like #s 11, 20, 21 present the woman's body as a typology or a collection of specific parts. Questions: (1) What is the cumulative effect of the reduction of women's bodies to a collection of parts? (2) What specific body parts are typically highlighted by advertisements? (3) Are their similar portrayals of male bodies in advertising or the media? >

 

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<presented by Scott A. Lukas, Ph.D.>