ERIC Number: ED204793
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-May
Reference Count: 0
Magazine Portrayal of Women, 1911-1930. Journalism Monographs Number 72.
A total of 486 nonfiction reports and a proportional, stratified random sample of 300 short stories appearing in selected magazines from 1911 to 1930 were examined for the extent to which they portrayed or encouraged the emancipated woman. The study tested two assumptions: one, frequently made by writers commenting on the 1920s, that magazines of that decade extensively portrayed and encouraged the emancipation of women in their political, economic, or social roles; and a second, suggested by Theodore Peterson, that commercial magazines are essentially conservative and tend to maintain the status quo. The magazines used in the study were "Atlantic Monthly,""Cosmopolitan,""Ladies' Home Journal," and "Saturday Evening Post." Although the magazines gave much attention to women's social role in both decades, most of the evidence showed a reinforcement in the 1920s of longstanding views regarding the social roles considered appropriate for women. There was no marked tendency on the part of the four magazines to portray the "flapper" or the politically, economically, and socially liberated woman in the 1920s as typical of American women or even as an ideal. As Peterson's thesis suggests and as the examination showed, many traditional norms and values were reinforced and a few innovations introduced, but the fiction and nonfiction tended to underrepresent the women's real activity and accomplishments in politics and economics, and to limit women's major social goals to those most closely related to marriage and family. (RL)
Descriptors: Characterization, Content Analysis, Females, Fiction, Nonfiction, Periodicals, Popular Culture, Sex Role, Sex Stereotypes, Social Change, Social Environment, United States History
AEJ Publications Manager, School of Journalism, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045 ($2.50).
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Association for Education in Journalism.
Identifiers: Journalism Research