Gender Representation in New Media Through Global Calendar Photographs

Gender Representation in New Media Through Global Calendar Photographs

Zaliha İnci Karabacak, Özlen Özgen
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3201-0.ch025
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New media that enables access to more people is a preferred platform by Lavazza for bringing together consumers from all around the world within the framework of coffee culture by means of photography. Lavazza calendar photos (1993-2012) have been analysed using Dyer's non-verbal communication means and lines of appeal under the following headings: “Sexually Highlighted Female Body in Lavazza Calendar Photos,” “Different Sexual Orientations as Secondary Emphasis of Lavazza Calendar Photos,” “Idealized Body Look of Models of Lavazza Calendars,” “Roles of Women and Men in Family in Lavazza Calendar Photos,” “Queens and Superheroines in Lavazza Calendars,” “Widespread Representation of White Race in Lavazza Calendar Photos,” “Italian Cities and Italian Local and National Items in Lavazza Calendars,” “Signs of Different Geography, Culture and Life Styles in Lavazza Calendar Photos,” and “Lines of Appeal in Lavazza Calendar Photos.” According to the findings, both non-verbal means of communication in terms of gender and lines of appeal in Lavazza calendar photos in new media have changed over the years.
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Culture refers to the best works in the fields of literature, painting, music, and philosophy in a society. In recent years, culture has been defined as an expression of all the differences between people's lifestyles, national identities and social groups. According to an alternative view, culture refers to shared values by a group or society (Hall, 2003: 2). In today's consumer society, consumer culture unites societies with common values on a global scale. Global actors (brands, artists, etc.) standing out in different areas such as food, entertainment, fashion, music, and travel have a wide range of influence with the support of the capitalist powers (countries, institutions and people who are politically, economically and ideologically dominant). Thus, they prefer global delicacies, brands, songs, holiday and entertainment venues. In this global economic order, social differences are subject to consumption. Baudrillard (2004:111) states that the differences (clothing, ideology, gender differences) that can be exchanged within a wide consumption partnership today are produced as signs according to an order that unites them and are interchangeable.

Traditions, clothing, accessories, food and drinks belonging to different geographies, cultures and lifestyles are seen to become an object of consumption as part of the daily life of the individuals in the consumer society. Coffee, which reached the Arabian Peninsula from Abyssinia and then to Europe and the Western World, is among these objects of global consumption. Therefore, it is the second most popular product in the world trade after oil today.

Workplaces, street corners, supermarkets, gas stations have been flooded by various types of coffee, which has become the irreplaceable drink of urban life in the 20th century. It is stated that ads have a significant impact on the increasing consumption of coffee (Heise, 2001: 108). The power that can unite people from different societies around the created coffee culture is the advertising industry, one of the best functioning institutions of the capitalist order. The values attributed to coffee and the lifestyles associated with coffee, etc. play a role in encouraging coffee consumption.

Commercial culture - which has become prominent in the postmodern period – is seen to undermine all artistic forms and foregrounds the image as a commodity (Jameson, 1998). And the body is presented to consumers as images in various contexts, as well as in the calendar photographs which are used as a means of promoting coffee - an important consumption product of the global culture. In this presentation, the relationship between body and space also gains importance. Lefebvre (1991) emphasizes that space is produced with the purpose of commanding bodies by prescribing or proscribing gestures, routes and distances to be covered.

In order to create a theoretical background for this research, which aims to analyse the representation of women and men from different geographies in calendar photos (between 1993 and 2012) of the global coffee brand Lavazza (2019) within the framework of the gender concept, we will first focus on body culture, gender, representation of body and gender in photography. Within the framework of this theoretical infrastructure, the analysis of the Lavazza calendar photographs in new media will be included.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Non-Verbal Communication: Way of communication which includes appearance, gestures, symbols, body movements, space, decors, etc.

New Media: Media acquired digital, interactive, hypertextual, networked form as a result of developments in communication technologies.

Gender: Socially constructed and defined roles, expectations etc. that attributed to different sexes.

Calendar Photography: Promotional photos in brand calendars.

Body Culture: The view of the body changing over time in contexts of biology, psychology, sociology and so on.

Advertising: Creative messages (verbal, visual, audio, etc.) of brands for promotion in media (online, offline).

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