DOI: 10.38159/ehass.20234117 ISSN: 2720-7722

A Morpho-Syntactic Analysis of Gender-Fair Language in Advertisements of Cosmetic Products in Ghana

Esther Serwaah Afreh, Obed Atta-Asamoah
  • Automotive Engineering

Gender-fair language challenges and dismantles prevailing societal gender preconceptions. Cosmetic advertisements have been criticized for unfair language choices that perpetuate gender stereotypes. This study is a morphosyntactic examination of gender-fair language in cosmetic advertisements. The social constructionist theory underpins the study. Thirty (30) product packages and labels for the Ghanaian market were used in this qualitative descriptive survey. Gendered terms were analyzed on the morphological level using Quirk et al.’s (1985) functional principle of word categorization. The data collected revealed that Gender-unfair language is prevalent in cosmetic advertisements. Product names, descriptions and claims often use gendered nouns, pronouns, adjectives, phrases of different types and imperative clauses. This reinforces the idea that certain beauty concerns and products are exclusively tailored to specific genders. Gender-unfair language in cosmetic advertisements results in a limited representation of beauty ideals and practices. The use of inclusive language and representations that challenge gender stereotypes and promote diversity was recommended for cosmetic advertisers. The paper provides insight into academic discourse and practical approaches in gender, communication and marketing studies. Keywords: Advertisements, Cosmetics, Gender-Fair Language, Stereotype, Morphosyntactic

More from our Archive