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

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  • Martha Starr

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.

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File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0034676042000253918
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Review of Social Economy.

Volume (Year): 62 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 291-305

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Handle: RePEc:taf:rsocec:v:62:y:2004:i:3:p:291-305

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Related research

Keywords: consumption; preferences; culture; women's labor force participation; advertising; commodification;

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Cited by:
  1. Espinosa Alejos, María Paz & Miller Moya, Luis Miguel & Brañas Garza, Pablo & Aguiar, Fernando, 2008. "Personal identity. A theoretical and experimental analysis," DFAEII Working Papers 2009-.04, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
  2. Greg Hannsgen, 2006. "A Random Walk Down Maple Lane?: A Critique of Neoclassical Consumption Theory with Reference to Housing Wealth," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_445, Levy Economics Institute.

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