Inarticulate Longings : The Ladies' Home Journal, Gender and the Promise of Consumer Culture book cover
1st Edition

Inarticulate Longings
The Ladies' Home Journal, Gender and the Promise of Consumer Culture

ISBN 9780415911573
Published September 29, 1995 by Routledge
290 Pages

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Book Description

Inarticulate Longings explores the contradictions of a social agenda for women that promoted both traditional roles and the promises of a growing consumer culture by examining the advertising industry in the early 20th century.

Table of Contents

A Profile of the Ladies Home Journal, Housekeeping, Women's Paid work, Stoves for Women, Votes for Men; The Amateur rebel, Advertising Women, every Women is Interested in This.

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Jennifer Scanlon is William R. Kenan Professor of the Humanities in Gender and Women's Studies at Bowdoin College.


"Combining attention to textual complexities and contradictions with a clear analytical and critical voice, Scanlon succeeds in showing how mass culture can be both powerful and pleasurable. This is a significant accomplishment." -- Journal of American History
"Scanlon provides a very useful analysis of the production of an important cultural artifact, demonstrating that the Ladies' Home Journal offered its readers a much more complex package of options than we have heretofore realized." -- American Historical Review
"Jennifer Scanlon has written a thoughtful and elegant study of the relationship between magazines, consumer culture, and the construction of womanhood in the first decade of the twentieth century." -- The Historian
"This fascinating study of the Ladies Home Journal is sure to interest scholars and generalists particularly intrigued by the many ironies of 20th century consumer culture, perhaps the most vivid of which is Scanlon's description of how it came to be that women and men who carefully crafted the conventions of white middle-class female behavior from the magazine's editorial office violated, in their own private lives, most of the prescriptions they laid out for others." -- Regina Morantz-Sanchez, University of Michigan
"Writing with a light touch, Scanlon offers a sharp analysis of the relationships among the popular press, women and consumerism in the U.S." -- Mina Carson, Oregon State University
"Jennifer Scanlon provides as varied and stimulating a menu of stories and discussions as any Journal reader might have wished for." -- Reviews
"Scanlon's book is an important addition to our understanding of the construction of the images and roles of women in the United States." -- The Historian
"Scanlon discovers a ricly ambivalent undercurrent of "inarticulate longings" rippling the glossy surface of contented housewifely consumption. It is this study's fascinating analysis of the magazine's regularly featured "cheap" fiction, written by and for women, that argues most persuasively for the subversive presence of a specter of mute dissatisfaction haunting the Journal's sunny pages." -- Women's Studies