Mota-Ribeiro, S. (2011). Through the Looking Glass: images and discourses of gender in women magazine’s ads – a visual social semiotic approach
In Through the Looking Glass: images and discourses of gender in women magazine’s ads – a visual social semiotic approach, Silvana Mota-Ribeiro performs an analysis of how gender discourses are manifested in advertising images and, thus, identifies discourses used in its production.
“Notwithstanding the considerable amount of research conducted recently on “images of women” and discourses across different fields, these approaches have not been discursively framed, nor have they shown in detail the visual workings of women’s ads. Hence, they do not enable an analysis of this important layer of meaning production. The present research attempts to answer the question of how gender discourses are realised in images, and identify the discourses used in its production (…). It is vital do understand how images acquire meaning and social acceptance. As it allows a detailed analysis of visual structures, social semiotics is a key tool to understand the core features of those processes. Additionally, since advertising plays a vital role in the discursive chaining and articulation of gender discourses, and considering that the visual element is core to their construction, I argue that visual resources need an approach of their own that emphasises the specificities of the working of visual grammar – i.e., that treats
images as images. Unveiling how these images are inscribed in this type of discourses and participate on the process of its reproduction, we can better understand their ideological power”.