Location

Jereld R. Nicholson Library: Grand Avenue

Subject Area

Communication Arts/Rhetoric

Description

This project focused on an analysis of the messages portrayed through four covers of Cosmopolitan’s international magazines in November of 2015. This study investigated if and how Cosmopolitan creates a single, worldwide ideal image for women. Using Arthur Asa Berger’s method of semiotic analysis, the four covers were analyzed according to five categories: the model’s story or significance in the world today, the model’s race, clothing and other artifacts worn by the model, the model’s body language, and the words and phrases printed on the cover. This study uncovered three consistent, major themes: sex, fitness, and success in terms of wealth. The ideologies contained in these themes are spread across the countries in which Cosmopolitan distributes their magazine, giving women worldwide the idea that these are the expectations of their gender and that these values should be embraced. The study suggests that, if all themes represented in the covers portray and glorify U.S.-centric values, there is potential to override or devalue the cultural values of other countries in which the magazine is distributed.

The paper upon which this poster is based was written for the Senior Seminar course in Communication Arts. The paper was competitively selected for presentation at the Northwest Communication Association Conference in April 2016.

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May 6th, 3:00 PM May 6th, 4:30 PM

Cosmopolitan Goes Intercultural: A Semiotic Analysis of Cosmopolitan Magazine Covers

Jereld R. Nicholson Library: Grand Avenue

This project focused on an analysis of the messages portrayed through four covers of Cosmopolitan’s international magazines in November of 2015. This study investigated if and how Cosmopolitan creates a single, worldwide ideal image for women. Using Arthur Asa Berger’s method of semiotic analysis, the four covers were analyzed according to five categories: the model’s story or significance in the world today, the model’s race, clothing and other artifacts worn by the model, the model’s body language, and the words and phrases printed on the cover. This study uncovered three consistent, major themes: sex, fitness, and success in terms of wealth. The ideologies contained in these themes are spread across the countries in which Cosmopolitan distributes their magazine, giving women worldwide the idea that these are the expectations of their gender and that these values should be embraced. The study suggests that, if all themes represented in the covers portray and glorify U.S.-centric values, there is potential to override or devalue the cultural values of other countries in which the magazine is distributed.

The paper upon which this poster is based was written for the Senior Seminar course in Communication Arts. The paper was competitively selected for presentation at the Northwest Communication Association Conference in April 2016.

 

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