All is vanity? The representation of women within magazines and advertising during Phases of Social and economic negativity

Hughes-Cole, Jemma (2011) All is vanity? The representation of women within magazines and advertising during Phases of Social and economic negativity. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    The intention of this dissertation is to perform an investigative analysis on the representation of the feminine form within magazines and advertising during periods of a negative social and economic climate, focusing upon the 2009 recession. With the use of three particular magazines (Women and Home, Look and Harper’s Bazaar), the aim is to look at how women have been represented during the recession to see if there have been any particular shifts within representations.

    One key psychological study performed by Pettijohn and Tesser (1999) discusses representation with reference to negative situations. Susie Orbach, a feminist writer, has also written books such as Bodies (2009) on the subject of women remaking their bodies to fit within society. Works by the likes of Barthes (1967,1987) on semiotics and Althusser (1970) on the ideological state apparatus will also be applied towards analysis undertaken within the dissertation.

    Research suggests that there is a battle within media representation of what is perceived as ideal usually, but with relation to times of economic and social crisis, such as the recession of the 2000s, there can be seen to be a change in how women are represented towards themselves and men (Pettijohn and Tesser 1999). Women are now being informed by images of fuller figure models that within the personal realm it is possible now to be less controlled and more forgiving (Orbach 2009), yet this seems only evident within lower budget magazines and their advertisements, suggesting a class/financial conflict when it comes to representing the female form and the products she buys.

    Psychological studies and analysis of a vast market of women's magazines shows that during particular periods of negative social and economic climate, the representation of women, such as the information they require, the products that they buy and the way they are 469148 represented within printed images can be seen to change, particularly within low end magazines, as the media appears to fluctuate between attempting to play upon women's insecurities within difficult times to being more accepting and less meticulous.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Central Services > Department for Curriculum and Quality Enhancement
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2012 14:54
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:58

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