Feminism in the name of sports - A Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis of Nike’s and Under Armour’s “femvertising” campaigns "Dream Crazier" and "Unlike Any"

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Feminism in the name of sports - A Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis of Nike’s and Under Armour’s “femvertising” campaigns "Dream Crazier" and "Unlike Any"

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Publication 2-year master student thesis
Title Feminism in the name of sports - A Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis of Nike’s and Under Armour’s “femvertising” campaigns "Dream Crazier" and "Unlike Any"
Author Greska, Alexandra
Date 2019
English abstract
The purpose of this thesis is to examine how female athletes are represented in Nike's and Under Armour's "femvertising" campaigns "Dream Crazier" (2019) and "Unlike Any" (2017). At first, the narrative and visual strategies of the Dream Crazier campaign video and the Unlike Any campaign video are comparatively analyzed. Secondly, I shall examine how elements of post-feminism relate to the key elements of the campaigns. Thirdly, the representation of Black and African athletes is studied through the lens of intersectional feminism. Previous research on femvertising and representations of female athletes, as well as intersectionality in sports advertising is complemented with a close and comparative analysis of more recent brand campaigns. A Multimodal Discourse Analysis was used as a means of discovering how different modes of the campaigns interactively construct meaning. Therefore, I connect Norman Fairclough's framework of Critical Discourse analysis (1995) with Kress and Van Leeuwen’s (1996, 2013, 2014) and Jewitt’s (2013) approach to notions of multimodal discourse. The samples were gathered online and included the key campaign videos as well as the campaigns' key images portraying famous female athletes. The results indicate that although these campaigns evoke a positive image of female athletes as strong and self-determined role models, stigmatizing still exists within the campaigns. In comparison, Nike's campaign is more firmly oriented towards reminding consumers of gender discrimination, whereas Under Armour has put more emphasis on representing the athletes personal (physical and mental) barriers. Significant post-feminist elements were 'self-surveillance and discipline', 'individualization and personal choice', 'femininity as bodily preoccupation', 'irony and knowingness', and 'feminism undone'. Particularly striking was the campaign's representation of female athletes as heroes. Furthermore, I argue that the campaigns have both countered and reinforced stereotypes of Black and African American athletes. However, Nike's campaign was more actively focused on tackling underrepresentation in sports and racist stereotypes.
Publisher Malmö universitet/Kultur och samhälle
Language eng (iso)
Subject Female athletes
Gender discrimination
Sports advertising
Nike
Under Armour
Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis
Post-feminism
Intersectional feminism
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/30478 Permalink to this page
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