Gender, Age, Class and Racial Stereotypes, and Power Relations In Television Ads: 2011-13 vs 2021-22

Thomas Clark
Xavier University
Cincinnati, Ohio USA

Julie Stewart
University of Texas, Dallas
Richardson, Texas, USA 


This article demonstrates how faculty and DEI experts can use resources included in this paper to highlight how a range of stereotypes are created and reinforced in television ads, and it identifies several topics for future analysis. To understand how depictions of gender, class, age, and race intersect in 8 television ads featuring the relationship between the race of individuals depicted in romantic and platonic relationships this article examines 4 pairs of commercials from 2011-13 and 2021-22. Drawing on concepts of intercategorical complexity, it describes product, setting, characters and relationships to help gain a deeper understanding of how various stereotypes operate and intersect in specific ads over time. The findings indicate that while interracial relationships were portrayed positively over both time periods, which was not the case with same race ads. In addition, stereotypes of age, class, and gender were perpetuated in the some of the ads from both periods. 

Keywords: stereotypes, intercategorical complexity, television, advertisements, race, class, gender, age

Author Bios

Thomas Clark, PhD, is President of CommuniSkills and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Management, at Xavier University.  His publication interests include popular culture, environmental communication, and all aspects of business communication.

Julie Stewart, PhD., is Associate Professor of Instruction at the Naveen School of Business, University of Texas, Dallas, Richardson campus.  Her publication interests include advertising, media, and public relations.

Suggested Reference Citation


Clarke, T. & Stewart,J. (2024). Gender, age, class and racial stereotypes, and power relations in television ads: 2011-13 vs 2021-22. Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy, 11(1).


Clarke, Thomas & Stewart, Julie. “Gender, Age, Class and Racial Stereotypes, and Power Relations in Television Ads: 2011-13 vs 2021-22”. Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy. 2024, vol. 11, no. 1.

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