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dc.contributor.authorNorton, Hanna Elise
dc.description.abstractIn our own twenty-first century consumer oriented life, it is difficult to pinpoint how and why consumerism is so integral to our lifestyle. The phrase “I owe, I owe, I owe, it’s off to work I go” speaks for a great many of America’s current citizens. In great contrast, the first ten years of the twentieth century held many changes that would push its citizens away from their producer oriented roots closer to a world of consumption. My own interests in gender and consumerism center on the historical changes occurring at the turn of the century as the industrial revolution took hold and mass media flourished due to technological and delivery advancements. As these changes occurred around them, women and men utilized the media to help them make sense of these changes. I am especially intrigued how the concepts of gender and consumer culture were employed by women’s magazines to construct and maintain feminine norms of behavior (i.e., women = consumers). This research studied how rising consumer patterns helped shape accepted definitions of womanhood and women’s own definitions of womanhood at the beginning of the twentieth century. The dissertation examined ten years of women’s magazine content from Good Housekeeping and the Ladies’ Home Journal as well as fourteen period diaries to offer an audience perspective to early women’s magazine history within the larger cultural context of a burgeoning consumer culture. The research focused on women’s private and public responses to societal changes represented to women in early women’s magazines. The dissertation also interrogated the predominant concept that women often passively accepted the material presented in women’s magazines. Examination of this subject is important in measuring how the increasing role of women’s magazines affected or influenced women’s lives as members of a consumer culture as well as how magazines learned to “listen” to the needs of their audience and maintain loyal followings. These concerns still exist today with critics arguing that women’s magazines guide women into shallow, consumer oriented lives and the magazines’ retorts that they merely deliver what women want.
dc.rightsOn Campus Only
dc.subjectWomen\'s magazines
dc.subjectCultural Forum
dc.subjectProduced meanings
dc.subjectHome purchases
dc.subjectNew woman
dc.titleWindows to the soul
dc.title.alternativewomen's magazines, personal diaries, and consumerism, 1900-1910
dc.description.departmentGrady College of Journalism and Mass Communication
dc.description.majorMass Communication
dc.description.advisorKaren S. Miller
dc.description.committeeKaren S. Miller
dc.description.committeeAlison Alexander
dc.description.committeeLouise Benjamin
dc.description.committeeRichard Neupert
dc.description.committeeDwight Brooks

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