Compare the catalogue from the expensive store with that from the cheaper store
Formatting instructions The length of the paper should not be more than 1,000 words (excluding the data, their translation into English, the references and any appendices). You NEED to write clearly. If I cannot understand, I cannot give you marks for the work. You also need to provide reasons for your claims. Don’t just give an example, explain it.
Honesty instructions I should not need to specify, but any indication of copying will result in a 0% for the assignment.
General Instructions Find two online store catalogues (in PDF or other e-format – you can simply take screen captures for your examples if necessary). These should be from stores in a region that you know well (either Doha, the Gulf region or from another city/country that you are familiar with). The catalogues can be in Arabic or English. However, if they are in Arabic, all of your examples will need to be translated into English. Make sure to find catalogues that are sufficiently large to give you enough data to do your analysis. You can, if necessary, find multiple catalogues from similar stores if you need more data. Of course, you should look for catalogues that have more than just pictures and prices, but also a sufficient amount of accompanying text.
One of the stores should be a lower end store (targeting a person of average or lower income); one should be a higher end store (targeting those with higher incomes; e.g., East 51).
In each catalogue, find items that are probably marketed for women, and another set probably marketed at men (find as many such items as you need to answer the questions below, but at least 6 items for each gender).
I (75%) Qualitative questions: 1) For these items, in what ways does the language in the advertising reflect the target audience (women vs. men)? And what ideologies does this reflect? Find 10 examples (total across all your example items) of paradigmatic choices that reflect a cultural assumption (hegemonic ideology) about gender and explain the specific hegemonic ideology behind the choice. Give an alternative choice that could have been made and explain how the choice that was made reflects the ideology.
2) In what ways do the non-linguistic choices (pictures, colours…) reflect the target audience (women vs. men)? And what ideologies does this reflect? (Give specific examples and explain them – at least 3 examples).
3) Compare the catalogue from the expensive store with that from the cheaper store: Which choices (linguistic or non-linguistic) show the status of the store? Find 4 examples of a choice (linguistic or non-linguistic) that reflects a dominant ideology about wealth (For example, the activities that are suggested by the product for sale).
4) Find one example of an assumption that shows interaction between ideologies of status and gender; that is, an example of a choice that reflects an ideology about rich women (but not men or poor women) or about poor men (but not women or rich men) or about poor women….
5) Binomial order – find at least two examples of a binomial (your pdf viewer’s search function will help you with this), does the male or female come first? Why is that order used in these examples?
II (10%) Quantitative:
A professional analysis would require more advanced statistical techniques, but as an introductory analysis, please do a quantitative (“counting”) analysis of the following questions.
1) Predict a pair of words that you think would be more likely to occur in the high-end/low-end catalogues. For example, luxurious/value. The word “luxurious” is probably more likely to occur in a catalogue aimed at the rich, whereas “value” is more likely to occur in a catalogue aimed at those earning less money. (DON’T USE THAT PAIR – FIND ANOTHER PAIR) Test your prediction in your catalogues: Count the number of instances of the words you predicted in each of the catalogues (the “search” function in your pdf viewer will allow you to do this) and compare the ratio of those words in the two catalogues. Was your prediction correct? If so, why do you think it was correct? If not, why do you think it was not correct?
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