A comparative study of female identity construction in Chinese and American advertisements


  • Yansheng Mao Harbin Engineering University
  • Ximin v National Taipei University of Technology




female identity construction, advertisement, comparative, chinese, english


This article investigates the issue of female identity construction in Chinese and in American advertisements from a contrastive perspective rarely adopted in the related literature. We have found that, while the identity of women constructed in the Chinese advertisements reflects the traditional expectations of women, such as being beauty-conscious, romance-pursuing, and maternal love-representing, the identities of women found in the American advertisements are those of confidence and uniqueness. Our interview data indicate that these findings are reflections of respective cultural values in the two societies. That is, women in Chinese culture are still seen as being traditional whereas women in the United States are seen as independent and goal-driven.

Author Biographies

Yansheng Mao, Harbin Engineering University

Yansheng Mao is a professor in the Foreign Languages Department of Harbin Engineering University, China, as well as a postdoctoral research fellow in the English Department of East China Normal University, China. His publications include two books on pragmatics and articles published in Discourse & Communication, Discourse Studies, and System.

Ximin v, National Taipei University of Technology

Caroline Hwang received her PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin in the US. She taught in UT Austin, University of Houston, and Rice University. Dr Hwang is currently an Associate Professor at Taipei University of Technology in Taiwan.


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How to Cite

Mao, Y., & v, X. (2020). A comparative study of female identity construction in Chinese and American advertisements. East Asian Pragmatics, 5(1), 123-146. https://doi.org/10.1558/eap.38986