Contexts and developments in women’s magazines

Authored by: Deborah Chambers

The Routledge Companion to British Media History

Print publication date:  September  2014
Online publication date:  September  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415537186
eBook ISBN: 9781315756202
Adobe ISBN: 9781317629474

10.4324/9781315756202.ch24

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Abstract

The history of women’s lifestyle magazines reveals dramatic changes in representations and discourses of femininity. Within the mainstream magazine sector, a striking feature of this history is the framing of models of femininity within consumer discourses. This chapter traces the changing structures and contents of women’s magazines up to the 1990s, with a focus mainly on the British context. The chapter identifies four broad phases in the history of women’s magazines that correspond with the changing roles and status of women. The aim is to offer an understanding of the wider continuities and changes that have contributed to the formation of this popular cultural medium.

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