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Media Theory Revision Guide

All A level theorists covered alongside revision summaries and exam practise exercises.




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Female gult


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The bottom right illustration in the Tide advert evidences the wide-scale social pressures and domestic ideals that women felt obliged to conform to during the 1950's. 

The depiction of the two women comparing the whiteness of each others’ laundry suggests the need in 1950's America for women to be actively seen to be keeping the family home clean. 

Women of the period tell us of the widespread social guilt they experienced if those demanding domestic ideals weren’t met The illustration clearly reveals the extent to which advertising of the period capitalised on these cultural and social expectations. 

Tide positions itself as a product that simultaneously reinforces those hegemonic ideals, whilst also offering women a functional, quick-fix means of meeting those expectations.

Functional positioning

An advertising narrative that emphasises the practical benefits of using a product. A car advert, for example, that foregrounds a vehicle's safety features uses functional positioning as a selling strategy.

Media terminology used

Patriarchal ideology

A set of ideas or outlooks that forward the idea that men are superior to women.


Describes the set of ideas that dominate within a society. Hall suggests that these ideas are usually formed by those groups who have power.

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