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Gender Role Portrayals in Prime-Time Television Commercials in Thailand
Unformatted Document Text:  Gender Role Portrayals 3 Gender Role Portrayal in Prime-Time Television Commercials in Thailand Gender role portrayal research suggests that gender representation in media continues to be a means of measuring society’s view of men and women (Bartsch, Burnett, Diller, & Rankin- Williams, 2000). This important area of research has received a great amount of attention in the United States. Far less attention has been given to gender stereotyping in other countries. Among these studies, most have focused on other Western countries. Eastern countries, especially the developing countries of Southeast Asia, have received minimal to no attention. The country of Thailand has been neglected altogether. This study begins to fill this gap in research by examining the gender role portrayals in Thai prime-time television commercials. Social Learning Theory and Cultural Meaning According to social learning theory (Bandura, 1977), individuals learn by observing and modeling the attitudes and behaviors of others. Adoption of modeled attitudes and behavior is more likely if the role model is similar to the observer, possesses status, and models attitudes and behaviors that are rewarded. Television commercials include role models that meet these criteria. In fact, Bandura asserts that the repetition and intensity of television commercials makes them especially powerful and attractive socializing agents. Social learning theory offers an explanation for the way in which television commercials perform the communication of culture. Social learning theory, then, provides a theoretical framework for gender role portrayal studies. Gender role portrayal research assesses the way in which mediated messages, including television commercials, may contribute to both the origin and maintenance of gender roles in a culture. Several scholars claim that television advertising, in its role as socializing agent, reflects and reinforces cultural values (Pollay, 1986). In addition, television advertising is said not only

Authors: Duff, Desiree.
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Gender Role Portrayals 3
Gender Role Portrayal in Prime-Time Television Commercials in Thailand
Gender role portrayal research suggests that gender representation in media continues to
be a means of measuring society’s view of men and women (Bartsch, Burnett, Diller, & Rankin-
Williams, 2000). This important area of research has received a great amount of attention in the
United States. Far less attention has been given to gender stereotyping in other countries.
Among these studies, most have focused on other Western countries. Eastern countries,
especially the developing countries of Southeast Asia, have received minimal to no attention.
The country of Thailand has been neglected altogether. This study begins to fill this gap in
research by examining the gender role portrayals in Thai prime-time television commercials.
Social Learning Theory and Cultural Meaning
According to social learning theory (Bandura, 1977), individuals learn by observing and
modeling the attitudes and behaviors of others. Adoption of modeled attitudes and behavior is
more likely if the role model is similar to the observer, possesses status, and models attitudes and
behaviors that are rewarded. Television commercials include role models that meet these
criteria. In fact, Bandura asserts that the repetition and intensity of television commercials
makes them especially powerful and attractive socializing agents. Social learning theory offers
an explanation for the way in which television commercials perform the communication of
culture. Social learning theory, then, provides a theoretical framework for gender role portrayal
studies.
Gender role portrayal research assesses the way in which mediated messages, including
television commercials, may contribute to both the origin and maintenance of gender roles in a
culture. Several scholars claim that television advertising, in its role as socializing agent, reflects
and reinforces cultural values (Pollay, 1986). In addition, television advertising is said not only


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