Language and gender imbalance: a case study of television advertising in Tanzania.

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study is about language use and gender inequality in advertising. Specifically the study investigates the portrayal of women as compared to men in television advertising in Tanzania. The aim is to ascertain whether the language and visual aspects that are used in television advertising reflect gender stereotyping. The study addresses two socio-linguistic issues. One is to establish whether the verbal and non-verbal aspects of television advertising reflect traditional beliefs, assumptions, attitudes and practices that place women in a disadvantageous situation in the society. Two is to identify the techniques that are used in television advertising to accomplish gender stereotyping. A total of fifteen television commercials were video recorded from independent Television (ITV) and Dar es Salaam Television (DTV) through a deliberate sampling procedure. They were then analysed using a method modified from Fair Clough (1989) referred to as Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). The results indicate that there is gender imbalance in the way advertisers assign linguistic and non- linguistic attributes to men and women who act out the commercials. Specifically the findings show that television advertising portrays women negatively by assigning them linguistic and non-linguistic elements that reflect society's belief that women belong to the home, are emotional, submissive, and dependent.
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Language and languages, Sex differences, Women, Language, Advertising media selection, Tanzania
Shartiely, N. E. (2003). Language and gender imbalance: a case study of television advertising in Tanzania. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (