The main objective of this research was to explore the extent to which gender stereotypes of females are depicted within wedding related tourism brochures published by well-known tour operator Thomas Cook between 2006 and 2018. In addition to gender stereotypes, this study also considered the use of stereotypical destination imagery and the representation of minority groups including ethnic and homosexual minorities in the brochures. Due to the duplication of many images throughout the brochures, only the first 45 images from each brochure featuring at least one female with or without the presence of a male were examined. A combination of frameworks developed by Goffman (1976), and later adapted by Kang (1997), were used for coding the images examined in this study. Categories of gender stereotyping used in this study were relative size, feminine touch, ritualization of subordination, licenced withdrawal, body display and independence. Whilst the findings from this study suggest that some stereotypical behaviours experienced significant reductions in use between 2006 and 2018, including the use of expansive smiles, the use of many of the stereotypes remained largely unchanged over the 13-year period of study. As a predominantly female targeted industry, it is alarming that the wedding brochures examined in this study revealed overwhelmingly stereotypical depictions of women in their imagery. Whilst many academics including Goffman (1976) and Kang (1997), have examined gender stereotyping in general interest magazines and general tourism brochures, until now there have been few studies focusing on the stereotypical depictions of women in wedding specific tourism promotional material. This study aimed to fill this gap.
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