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The portrayal of blacks in magazine advertisements: 1950-1982

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/01/1984
<mark>Journal</mark>Public Opinion Quarterly
Issue number3
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)551-563
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish


This article compares the frequency and social characteristics of blacks and whites in advertisements in Time and Ladies' Home Journal during 1950 and 1980. The occupational level of blacks portrayed has risen considerably, and blacks are no longer presented as maids or servants. However, white authority figures are still frequently shown aiding poor blacks or supervising black children. Furthermore, ads show friendly and informal social relationships between individual whites much more frequently than they show such relationships between whites and blacks. Finally, in an extended analysis the frequency of black ads in 1980, 1981, and 1982 is examined for Time, Newsweek and LHJ. Blacks are still somewhat underrepresented, and recent fluctuations in the use of black advertisements are considered. The article begins and ends with a discussion of three different models that might account for the way blacks are presented in advertisements in the United States.