Contemporary magazines, contemporary readers
In this chapter, as in previous ones, we analyse a select sample of magazines in order to pursue the question of the women’s magazine’s distinctive working of gender ideology. In this case, however, instead of drawing our sample from an extended period, we concentrate on a selection of magazines (listed in the Appendix) from a single year, 1988. We are also able here to draw on our discussions with other groups of women about their relation to and readings of the magazines we chose for our sample, where such reader research was impossible with regard to earlier periods. Here, then, by drawing on the practices of close reading and reader research, we hope to elaborate on some of the more general argument we have outlined earlier and demonstrate the complexity of the relations between those economic, ideological and social factors that go into ‘reading’ magazines in late-twentieth-century culture.
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