‘They Opened Up a Whole New World’: Narrative, Text and Image in British Women’s Magazines in the 1930s. Hackney, F. ZSCC: NoCitationData[s0]
abstract   bibtex   
Drawing on oral testimony, this article focuses on domestic, consumer magazines in the 1930s. It uses the ‘magazine-as-window’ as a central organising idea to explore the inherent tensions in magazine reading at a time of rapid change when, along with cinema and radio, these publications were important vehicles, mediating women’s experience of modernity. A discussion of methodology will be followed by an examination of the social circumstances of the readers interviewed, their: ages, experiences of education, employment, marriage and motherhood and how these may have affected the titles they read. A common culture, or imagined community of readers, it is argued, began to emerge in the period as women of differing ages, educational and economic backgrounds increasingly read the same publications, identifying with the images of working girls, fashionability, housewifery or modern motherhood they found there. The final section explores the meaning and significance of magazine reading through women’s words and stories. The term, ‘repertoire of realistic escape’ identifies a particular emotional economy that, I argue, characterised women’s magazine reading in these years. Defined by a desire for pleasure that was, simultaneously always compromised, it signals subjectivities that were both feminine and modern. Tracing a shift from reading, principally romantic fiction, which was conducted clandestinely and in opposition to parental views, to a shared culture of ‘looking’ at predominantly visual consumer magazines, I demonstrate that complex relationships between text, image and identity sit at the heart of women’s narratives of reading magazines.
@article{hackney_they_nodate,
	title = {‘{They} {Opened} {Up} a {Whole} {New} {World}’: {Narrative}, {Text} and {Image} in {British} {Women}’s {Magazines} in the 1930s.},
	abstract = {Drawing on oral testimony, this article focuses on domestic, consumer magazines in the 1930s. It uses the ‘magazine-as-window’ as a central organising idea to explore the inherent tensions in magazine reading at a time of rapid change when, along with cinema and radio, these publications were important vehicles, mediating women’s experience of modernity. A discussion of methodology will be followed by an examination of the social circumstances of the readers interviewed, their: ages, experiences of education, employment, marriage and motherhood and how these may have affected the titles they read. A common culture, or imagined community of readers, it is argued, began to emerge in the period as women of differing ages, educational and economic backgrounds increasingly read the same publications, identifying with the images of working girls, fashionability, housewifery or modern motherhood they found there. The final section explores the meaning and significance of magazine reading through women’s words and stories. The term, ‘repertoire of realistic escape’ identifies a particular emotional economy that, I argue, characterised women’s magazine reading in these years. Defined by a desire for pleasure that was, simultaneously always compromised, it signals subjectivities that were both feminine and modern. Tracing a shift from reading, principally romantic fiction, which was conducted clandestinely and in opposition to parental views, to a shared culture of ‘looking’ at predominantly visual consumer magazines, I demonstrate that complex relationships between text, image and identity sit at the heart of women’s narratives of reading magazines.},
	language = {en},
	author = {Hackney, Fiona},
	note = {ZSCC: NoCitationData[s0]},
	pages = {27}
}
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