Jackie and Just Seventeen: Girls’ Comics and Magazines in the 1980s

  • Angela McRobbie
Chapter
Part of the Youth Questions book series (YQ)

Abstract

Since ‘Jackie: An Ideology of Adolescent Femininity’ was first published in the late 1970s,1 feminist scholarship in the field of media studies has grown enormously. Both women’s magazines and romantic fiction, have been the subject of sustained critical attention. They have been recognised as key cultural forms reflective of distinctively feminine pleasures. Romance exists, of course, well beyond the pages of the magazines. It carries readers, viewers and audiences through a multiplicity of other forms. These include romantic novels, romantic films, and romantic records. Romance has also been credited with supplying the framework for female fantasy. Studying popular romances has been seen therefore, by feminist critics like Cora Kaplan, as offering a possible point of entry for understanding important aspects of the feminine psyche.2

Keywords

Depression Beach Stake Heroine Photography 

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Notes and references

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    See, for example, E. P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1974; Raymond Williams, Culture and Society, London, Chatto & Windus, 1958; and R. Hoggart, The Uses of Literacy, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1957.Google Scholar
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  32. 32.
    The conclusion to a version of ‘Jackie: An Ideology of Adolescent Feminity’ which appeared in A. McRobbie and T. McCabe (eds) Feminism For Girls looked to the possibility of an alternative to Jackie which countered its ideas and values with a sharp-edged feminist approach. The economics of the early 1980s however put paid to numerous alternative publishing ventures, and Shocking Pink, a magazine which attempted to put this idea into practice, seemed to disappear as suddenly as it appeared in the first place. From then on the debate in Left and feminist circles moved — imperceptibly perhaps — towards the idea of working within the mainstream and trying to bring to the large media institutions new and critical ideas. This arguement also took into account the widespread idea that publications like Jackie were bought because of their appealing format. There was something about them that thousands of young readers liked. It was impossible to duplicate this out in the wilderness of the alternatives, better therefore to move back towards the big institutions and work to transform them.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Angela McRobbie 1991

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  • Angela McRobbie

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