Introduction Scholarly Engagement with the Magazine Form

Expansion and Coalescence

Authored by: David Abrahamson

The Routledge Handbook of Magazine Research

Print publication date:  June  2015
Online publication date:  June  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138854161
eBook ISBN: 9781315722283
Adobe ISBN: 9781317524533


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Many media scholars agree that magazines—even more than newspapers, which are geographically limited, or the broadcast media, which are largely derivative, amplifying rather than creating social and cultural trends—serve both as a mirror of and a catalyst for the tenor and tone of the sociocultural realities of their times. A few historical examples can illustrate the point. In the 1950s, the glossy photographs of Life and Look defined a new era of postwar abundance in the United States. The political activism of the 1960s and early 1970s, reflected in publications such as Ramparts, later gave way to the Me Decade of the 1980s, with city and regional magazines such as New York taking the lead in extolling passions for consumer goods and the politics of the personal.

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