Complete this project by addressing the criteria below. You will work on parts of the project in each module and receive instructor feedback. Your final submission will be revisions of the work you do throughout the course.
Part One: Advertisement Analysis
In this section, you will analyze the four advertisements you selected earlier in the course. Use social science approaches to gather specific information from them. As you conduct your analyses, think about what these advertisements say about the companies selling the products, the organizations making the ads, the people purchasing the products, and society as a whole.
Determine how individuals and groups are represented in the advertisements.
What audiences are the advertisements trying to reach?
What unspoken or underlying messages do you think the ads might be sending?
Identify stereotyped group behavior in the advertisements.
What are the advertisements saying about the behavior of the groups represented in them?
What underlying messages do the advertisements send about the group behaviors in them and the audiences they assume will be consuming the products?
Determine how different cultures are represented in the advertisements.
How do the ads represent culture? Are any stereotypes being used?
What unspoken or underlying messages do you think the ads might be sending about culture?
Discuss how ethical issues in the social sciences impact advertising. Look beyond the economic effects of advertisements and consider the following questions to help address this prompt:
Do the ads confirm biases? Do they rely on stereotypes? Do they support social change? Do they stay neutral on social or political movements? Should they get involved in social or political movements?
Why might it be important for advertisers and companies in a diverse world to be as inclusive and unbiased as possible?
Part Two: Social Science Questions
The answers that come from an analysis can often lead to more questions. In this section, you will use the information you found from your advertisement analyses to ask a broader social science question. You do not need to answer the question, but you do need to talk about how you might study your advertisements using the skills and knowledge you’ve gained in this course.
Propose a finalized social science research question based on your analysis of the advertisements you chose.
Think beyond the minor details from your analysis and consider what the ads say about individuals, groups, institutions, or society.
What is the meaning or significance of the ads? For example, you might be interested in ethical issues related to advertising. You might want to explore how current events influence the content of ads. Or maybe you would like to ask how common themes in ads could impact an audience’s self-concept.
Discuss how you used a social science perspective to develop your research question.
Explain how you used social science concepts, perspectives, or approaches to write your research question.
Explain one major development in the social sciences that may have influenced your research question.
The major development could include an important event, a discovery, the rejection of an old theory, acceptance of a new theory, or a change in culture that affected the field.
How might these changes in thinking and research have affected the conclusions drawn about your advertisements and the questions asked about them?
Part Three: Reflection
In this section, you will reflect on your experience using social science perspectives to analyze advertisements and ask research questions. You will consider how your personal beliefs, assumptions, and values influenced the question you developed, and explain why knowledge of the social sciences is important to understanding yourself, other people, and the world around you.
Describe how your assumptions, beliefs, and/or values influenced the way you analyzed your advertisements.
Consider how your perceptions of the social world may have influenced the way you viewed your advertisements. Did it/they cause you to make assumptions about the people in the ads? Did you focus on certain advertisements, or parts of advertisements as a result? How might someone with a different set of beliefs view your advertisements?
Discuss how social science perspectives or approaches could be used to process information.
Focus on the social science perspectives or approaches you feel would be the most beneficial for analyzing the information you are presented with every day.
For example, would analyzing ads on social media from the political science perspective help you better understand a company’s political stance on issues? What perspective would help you determine if there was a possible link between the length of a commercial and its intended audience? Would examining an ad targeted at caregivers from a sociological perspective help you understand the meaning of family in various cultures?
Explain how looking at the world from social science perspectives may impact your personal life.
How might using social science skills help you process and understand the information you use in your life?
Explain how examining issues from social science perspectives may affect your community relationships.
Think about challenges or opportunities in your community. How might applying social science perspectives to those issues benefit your community?
Discuss how being more informed about the social sciences may help you understand global contemporary issues.
Consider how understanding the ways social scientists examine human behaviors could influence the way you approach global challenges and questions.
Expert Solution Preview
In this assignment, we will be analyzing four selected advertisements using social science approaches. We will examine how individuals and groups are represented in the advertisements, the target audiences of the ads, and the unspoken or underlying messages they may be sending. Additionally, we will identify any stereotyped group behavior portrayed in the advertisements and analyze how different cultures are represented. Furthermore, we will discuss the ethical issues that arise in social science research and explore their impact on advertising.
Part One: Advertisement Analysis
1. Individuals and groups are represented in the advertisements by portraying certain characteristics, lifestyles, or behaviors that are associated with specific demographics or social identities. These representations can influence the audience’s perception of themselves and others.
2. The advertisements are trying to reach specific target audiences that align with the products being advertised. For example, a fitness product may target individuals interested in health and wellness, while a luxury brand may target affluent consumers.
3. The ads may convey unspoken or underlying messages such as societal norms, values, aspirations, or desires. These messages can influence the audience’s attitudes and behaviors, as well as shape their perception of what is considered desirable or acceptable.
4. Stereotyped group behavior can be observed in the advertisements through the portrayal of exaggerated or oversimplified characteristics associated with certain groups. This can reinforce societal stereotypes and perpetuate bias and discrimination.
5. The advertisements convey messages about the behavior of the groups represented in them. They may reinforce existing stereotypes or challenge them by presenting alternative perspectives. Additionally, the advertisements may imply certain expectations or judgments about the audiences consuming the products based on their perceived group behaviors.
6. Different cultures are represented in the advertisements through the depiction of cultural symbols, traditions, or customs. However, stereotypes may be used to simplify or misrepresent cultural diversity.
7. The advertisements might be sending unspoken or underlying messages about culture, such as promoting cultural norms, exoticizing or commodifying certain cultures, or reinforcing cultural biases.
8. Ethical issues in the social sciences impact advertising by raising questions about the ethical responsibility of advertisers and companies. Advertisements that confirm biases, rely on stereotypes, or discriminate against certain groups can perpetuate social inequalities. Advertisements can also influence social or political movements and have the potential to promote or hinder social change.
9. In a diverse world, it is important for advertisers and companies to be as inclusive and unbiased as possible to foster social cohesion and prevent the perpetuation of stereotypes or discrimination. Inclusivity not only benefits marginalized groups but also contributes to a more accepting and inclusive society.
Part Two: Social Science Questions
1. Based on the analysis of the selected advertisements, a possible finalized social science research question could be: How do gender roles and stereotypes impact consumer behavior in response to advertisements? This question considers the influence of gender representation in advertisements and its potential effects on consumer decision-making.
2. A social science perspective was used to develop this research question by recognizing the significance of gender roles and stereotypes as social constructs that shape individuals’ behaviors and attitudes. By analyzing advertisements, we can understand how these constructs are reinforced or challenged by advertising strategies.
3. A major development in the social sciences that may have influenced this research question is the increased recognition of gender as a social construct and the importance of gender studies in understanding social dynamics. This shift in thinking has led to a more critical examination of advertisements and their impact on individuals and society.
Part Three: Reflection
1. Personal assumptions, beliefs, and values influenced the analysis of the advertisements by shaping the focus and interpretation of the content. One’s perceptions of the social world can influence the assumptions made about the people in the ads and the aspects of the advertisements that receive attention. Different beliefs or values may lead to alternative interpretations.
2. Social science perspectives or approaches, such as sociological or psychological frameworks, can be used to process information presented in daily life. For example, analyzing advertisements from a political science perspective can help understand a company’s political stance, while a sociological perspective can shed light on the meaning of family in different cultures.
3. Looking at the world from social science perspectives can impact personal life by providing a deeper understanding of societal issues, human behavior, and cultural dynamics. It allows individuals to critically examine their own beliefs and biases and fosters empathy and tolerance in interpersonal relationships.
4. Applying social science perspectives to community issues can contribute to more informed decision-making and problem-solving. By understanding the social factors at play, individuals can better address community challenges and leverage opportunities for positive change.
5. Being more informed about the social sciences helps in understanding global contemporary issues by providing tools to analyze and interpret complex societal phenomena. It enables individuals to critically evaluate different perspectives, challenge prevailing narratives, and actively participate in shaping a more equitable and just global society.