The A-Plus television channels were selected on the

The data for this research comes from one public (PTV) four private channels (ARY, HUM TV, GEO and A-Plus) television channels in Pakistan.   we employed purposive sampling as the principle sampling technique for selecting television channels.   The reasons for choosing PTV (state run television) was; first, it is accessible to all Pakistani citizens irrespective of their geographical locations in Pakistan.   Second, the advertisements broadcasted on PTV have to be considered as an expression of the state’s point of view.   ARY, HUM TV, Geo, and A-Plus television channels were selected on the basis on their popularity among people in contemporary Pakistan.   As clear from title and introduction, this research focuses on the objectification of women in television advertisements.   Thus, our key research questions was; how women’s thin physical appearance, soft & flawless skin, shiny and bouncing hair and white complexion are idealized as standards of feminine beauty and ideal womanhood? Photographs and messages voiced through television commercials have been taken as discourses.   The selected photographs and verbal messages have been deconstructed and interpreted with theoretical lens taken from feminist poststructuralist and critical theorists.

  We acknowledge that there are various types of approaches that can be applied to deconstruct television advertisements.   However, our inspirations of deconstructing television advertisements come from Foucauldian Discourse Analysis.   Foucauldin Discourse Analysis (FDA) offers an appropriate approach for the analysis of television text.   It is essential to point out that discourse analysis is neither a straight nor an easily defined term.

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  We use discourse analysis as used by Feminist poststructuralist.  Feminist post-structuralists focus on the exploration of underlying meanings, forms of relationships, patterns of power desires created in the text.  According to Norman Fairclough (1989), the term text stands for both written and spoken texts. Drawing on Fairclough, we take into account spoken language in television advertisements as text.   Furthering Fairclough, we also use body itself, body language and dresses as text. Considering television commercials as text we attempted to highlight the tacit and vivid strategies employed by sexist media for relegating women to mere sex objects or physical appearance.

  It is through the verbal and visual discourse (televisions advertisements) that power is asserted on women physical appearance.   It is pertinent to mention here that Foucault’ conception of power is different from the popular usage of power.    For Foucault power operates invisibly, but is visible in its effects and that power is transferred when the subjects interacts with social environment.   Foucault also posited that power is not the property of the dominant group or individual, but exists in relationships, therefore, he hardly uses the word power and relation/relations of power.

  Drawing on the fundamental assumption of Foucault’s Discourse Analysis that the selection of teats is not random but affected by the ideology of its producer and the dominant ideology, we attempt to highlight now television commercials are ideologically invested and used for women objectification.   Looking at and deconstructing television commercials, we endeavored to unmask the institutional power of sexist media, the position of men as gazers and the owners of the mechanisms of gazing.   We have also attempted to empower television users, particularly women to emancipate themselves from the harmful effects of television advertisements.


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