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Why do women read magazines? This study explores the pleasure and dangers of the popular magazine for women since its first appearance in the late seventeenth century to the present day. Examining everything from changes in print technology to gender ideology, the authors argue that it is through its heterogeneity and its ability to contain contradiction...
Why do women read magazines? This study explores the pleasure and dangers of the popular magazine for women since its first appearance in the late seventeenth century to the present day. Examining everything from changes in print technology to gender ideology, the authors argue that it is through its heterogeneity and its ability to contain contradiction that the woman's magazine has maintained its cultural influence. From their inception, women's magazines have posited female subjectivity as a problem, offering themselves to female readers as a guide to living, a means of organizing, responding to and transforming their experiences as women. But they have also functioned as mediators of pleasure, fantasy, and escape. Challenging this critical dichotomy in the analysis of popular culture between production and consumption, the woman's magazine has always been a crucial site for the negotiation of gender and class identity.
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