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Consumption, Identity, and the Sociocultural Constitution of "Preferences": Reading Women's Magazines

Martha Starr ()

Review of Social Economy, 2004, vol. 62, issue 3, 291-305

Abstract: This paper shows how the concept of identity may figure importantly into shifts in preferences and patterns of consumption. We explore the 1970s emergence of the “working woman” - a woman who worked outside the home and regarded work as central to her identity. Women's magazines were especially involved in working out the “working woman” image, stressing how products could be used to attain her readily-identifiable appearance and efficient, pleasant home life. As such, they played into a shift in social valuation of female identities - away from those centered on traditional feminine pursuits, towards those centered on intensified labor-force involvement, consumerism, and commodified private life.

Keywords: consumption; preferences; culture; women's labor force participation; advertising; commodification (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2004
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DOI: 10.1080/0034676042000253918

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