Popular culture has an undeniable influence on how society perceives itself. When examining mass culture, one must keep in mind the equilibrium between how much we, as a society, affect the way popular culture is constructed and to what extent popular culture influences the way we view ourselves and shapes our ideologies. An aspect of popular culture that may serve to greatly exemplify this theory of society as both the affecter and the affected is the genre of magazines targeted at young women. Though these publications are targeted as the representation of our society’s adolescent females, they actually have a great influence over the ways in which teens view and construct certain social ideologies. This essay will shed light on the influences these publications have in shaping, regulating, and defining young women’s perceptions of femininity, sexuality, and romance. Consequently, it will also reveal an irony in the fact that “women’s magazines”, written for (and mostly by) women actually mold their beliefs and actions into those that reinforce female subordination through the traditional standards of a patriarchal society.
For the purpose of analysis, I will focus on three publications for women, each with a slightly different audience according to the age and class brackets targeted and the subjects offered. In her analysis of one of Britain’s women’s magazines called Jackie, McRobbie identifies four codes that form the content of these publications: those of fashion and beauty, romance, personal and domestic life, and pop music (Christian-Smith,8). The magazines I will examine all exemplify the four factors of McRobbie’s codes.
The first publication is a magazine called Twist. From the content, one may infer that the main target of this magazine is a high school age bracket. The cover stories include “Make-him-Melt Prom Hair and Makeup”, “Is it Love or Lust”, “Real Guys Reveal What Their Mixed Messages Really Mean”, “New Zit Zappers”, and “Celeb’s Happiness Secrets”. Inside, the reader finds pop music icons, advice on how to act and look to find a member of the opposite sex, advertisements targeted at younger consumers of cheaper goods, and pictures of stereotypically attractive teenagers.
The second magazine I will be discussing is Complete Woman. This magazine is aimed at a ...
... middle of paper ...
...logies? A broader representation of other forms of society would be necessary to dissolve the stereotypes that mass culture has come to represent.
1. Twist Magazine, May 2000. Heinrich Bauer Publishing, L.P.
2. Complete Woman Magazine, June/July 2000. James L. Herlock, Publisher.
3. Marie Claire Magazine, May 2000. Hearst Communications.
4. Christian-Smith, Linda. Becoming a Woman Through Romance. Routledge, Inc. 1990.
5. Modleski, Tania. Feminism Without Women. Routledge, Inc. 1991.
6. Lewin, Ellen. “Writing Lesbian Ethnography” reprinted in Women Writing Culture. University of California Press. 1995.
7. Craik, Jennifer. “I Must Put My Face On” 1989. reprinted in Feminist Cultural Studies I. Edward Elgar Publishing. 1995
8. Winship, Janice. “Handling Sex” 1981. reprinted in Feminist Cultural Studies I. Edward Elgar Publishing. 1995
9. Lutz, Catherine. “The Gender Of Theory” reprinted in Women Writing Culture. Univ. of California Press. 1995
10. Coward, Ruth. Female Desire. Palladin Books. 1984.
11. Schlesinger, Philip. “From Production to Propaganda?” reprinted in Culture and Power. Sage Publications. 1992
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Popular culture according to Browne & Browne is “the system of attitudes, behavioural patterns, belief customs and tastes that define people of any society” (2005, p.3). An artefact of popular culture from my daily life is the JanSport bag. This essay will describe the JanSport bag and explain why it is part of my experience with popular culture by using the ideas of mass culture, global culture and hegemony to support. An artefact of popular culture from my daily is the JanSport bag. The JanSport bag was created in 1967 along with a range of outdoor gear that was totally new and alternative to anything on the existing market, primarily because the design went against the traditional top loa... [tags: Culture, Popular culture, Globalization]
1279 words (3.7 pages)
- The purpose of this essay is to firstly explain what John Fiske means by ‘popular culture lies not in the production of commodities so much as the productive use of industrial commodities’ (Fiske, J. 1990 p.28). Secondly this essay will go on to compare Fiske’s interpretation of popular culture to MacDonald’s theory of mass culture. The quotation given in the title proposes popular culture is not governed by those responsible for the production of commodities but by the people. One could say in order for any commodity to be a part of popular culture relies on the people as they hold the power to decide what commodities they buy into making popular.... [tags: Popular culture, Culture, High culture]
1180 words (3.4 pages)
- Kayleigh Liu Paper #1: Methods Reflection HIS286J – Religion and Popular Culture Culture is a way of life that allows a diverse group of people to interrelate with one another. It is usually passed down from one generation to the next by communication and imitation. The term itself has a set definition, but it normally relates to the behavior, beliefs, values, and symbols that are accepted by a group of people. Culture can also be used to describe the time period and events in history. In the sense of what was deemed as popular during a specific stage in time and its impact on the culture surrounding it.... [tags: Culture, High culture, Popular culture, Europe]
1299 words (3.7 pages)
- Crime and Popular Culture Take Home Test 1. The connection between Crime Law and Popular Culture is reciprocal and full of events. Its nature gets the most obvious during the historical periods when new particular Crime Laws are launched that are aimed to reshape a state of a popular culture (for example, a prohibition of alcohol that shaped the look and feel of American Mafia) or among the most borderline marginal popular cultures (for example, hip hop culture of 1990th). Therefore, as well as Crime Law often structures the marginal cultures that act on borderline of law, the activity of certain popular culture group may influence changes in Criminal Law.... [tags: Popular culture, Culture, High culture]
1345 words (3.8 pages)
- Popular culture basically describes as new world which is created by young generation. Popular culture has changed the point of view of our life in many way. It has made our life more enjoyable than ever before. Popular culture has many positive benefits personally as well as on our society by entertainment, by TV shows and commercial ads, as well as by art and artist. First of all, popular culture has many positive impacts on our personal life by entertainment. For one thing, young generation likes pop music bands nowadays.... [tags: Television, Popular culture, High culture, Culture]
810 words (2.3 pages)
- “Culture” is a term that over the years, has taken many forms, served many purposes and has been defined in a variety of contexts. At the rise of the industrial era, inhabitants of rural areas began to migrate to cities, thus starting urbanization. As this new era began to unfold, urbanization, mass production, and modernization became key ingredients in the transformation of culture. As more people became literate and the production of mass media such as magazines, pamphlets, newspapers etc. increased, many had the option and desire to identify collectively – popular culture began to rise.... [tags: Culture, Globalization, Popular culture]
1170 words (3.3 pages)
- Bertolt Brecht asserted, “Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.” Art, encompassing all popular culture artifacts, both reflects the society that creates it and is itself an agent capable of changing social reality. Popular culture artifacts, like the Harry Potter series discussed in Nexon and Neumann’s work, Harry Potter and International Relations, exert agency, or causal power over the meaning and interpretation of cultural elements, by influencing the way ideas and values are constructed in everyday life.... [tags: Culture ]
1228 words (3.5 pages)
- Why are Super Bowl commercials important and popular in American culture. The Super Bowl is historically known for having high viewers. There is an average of 112.2 million viewers watching the game (Marketing Charts). Americans are anxious to watch this televised game because there are many high profile companies that broadcast their new commercials and upcoming products. Most of these advertisers are portraying their products as a luxury or as a necessity in the everyday life. Advertisement companies influence buyer’s choices by portraying their luxurious products as a necessity.... [tags: image, prestige, desire, popular]
1230 words (3.5 pages)
- The media influences how people experience social life. Media such as newspaper, television and film, are important sources of information, education and entertainment. It can be used to learn more about the world and the people in it. In this regard it can be said that the media represent, interpret and endorse aspects of social experience (O’Shaughnessy and Stadler, 2005). The media are also implicated in social regulation, or in other terms, the government of society. The media are implicated in government and politics in an obvious way because modern systems of democracy are conducted through the media.... [tags: Media, Pop Culture]
1625 words (4.6 pages)
- Matthew Arnold’s Culture and Anarchy (1869) divulges into the concerns he has for the ‘moral and spiritual’ future of society, due to the pressures of the machines and therefore the essence of civilisation was declining. Arnold believed the ‘high cultured’ should be the ones to enforce idealism, to create “the best that has been thought and said in the world”. He saw culture as the strive to perfection and that due the popular culture rejecting this, there would be anarchy. In other words, ‘anarchy’ operates as a synonym for popular culture for Arnold.... [tags: Culture, High culture, Popular culture]
1431 words (4.1 pages)