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"Having it His Way: The Construction of Masculinity in Fast Food TV Advertising"

Carrie Packwood Freeman, Georgia State University
Debra Merskin, University of Oregon

Article comments

This is a chapter in the Food for Thought: Essays on Eating and Culture, Lawrence C. Rubin, Ed.

. Sorry, the publisher did not allow a draft copy to be posted to this site.


From an ecofeminist perspective, we conducted a semiotic analysis of 17 gendered television advertisements from six fast food companies in 2006-2007. Findings revealed that advertisers perpetuate the problematic stereotype that straight men consume the bodies of both nonhuman animals and women as a way to 1) seek freedom from personal, social, and ecological constraints, and 2) remain loyal to and identify with the heterosexual male group. While television advertising of fast food is an easy target for criticism, we still felt it was important to document how meat is culturally constructed as part of the heterosexual male identity in ways that are counterproductive to feminism, animal rights, and environmentalism. In an era where green marketing/washing and conscientious consumerism is en vogue, it is disturbing to note how some industries go in the opposite direction to promote freedom via irresponsible consumption.

Suggested Citation

Freeman, Carrie Packwood and Debra Merskin. "Having it His Way: The Construction of Masculinity in Fast Food TV Advertising." Lawrence C. Rubin, Ed. Food for Thought: Essays on Eating and Culture. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2008. 277-293.

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