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Introduction: Women’s Magazines and Women’s Roles

  • Nancy A. Walker
Part of the The Bedford Series in History and Culture book series (BSHC)

Abstract

Today information, entertainment, and advice come to us from a dizzying array of media, many of them electronic: film, television, video, and computer. Newspapers and magazines continue to play a role in influencing how we dress, conduct our relationships, cook, raise children, purchase products, spend our time, and plan for the future, but they must compete for our attention with the bolder, faster images and messages that arrive in our homes and workplaces at the click of a button. To understand the different role that magazines played in the lives of many women in the 1940s and 1950s, we must imagine a society very different from our own — one in which the only two technological links between the average American home and the larger culture were the telephone and the radio. The television set was not a common fixture until the late 1950s, and even then programming was extremely limited, by today’s standards. Cable television service and the VCR were still in the future; the personal computer was undreamed of.

Keywords

Vacuum Cleaner Editorial Content Advertising Revenue Good Housekeeping Home Journal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
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    Gloria Steinern, “Sex, Lies, and Advertising,” Moving beyond Words (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994), 130–68.Google Scholar
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    Maureen Honey, “Recruiting Women for War Work: OWI and the Magazine Industry during World War II,” Journal of American Culture 3 (Spring 1980): 51.Google Scholar
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    William Graebner, The Age of Doubt: American Thought and Culture in the 1940s (Boston: Twayne, 1991), 1–2.Google Scholar
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    Stephanie Coontz, The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap (New York: Basic Books, 1992), 27.Google Scholar
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    Elaine Tyler May, Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era (New York: Basic Books, 1988), 11.Google Scholar
  12. 16.
    Sonya Michel, “American Women and the Discourse of the Democratic Family in World War II,” in Behind the Lines: Gender and the Two World Wars, ed. Margaret Randolph Higgonet et al. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987), 155.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Bedford/St. Martin’s 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nancy A. Walker
    • 1
  1. 1.Vanderbilt UniversityUSA

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