Almost everyone has an opinion about women's magazines. But what do readers think? Why do they read them, how do they read them and what role do they play in their lives?In this highly innovative study, Joke Hermes examines women's magazines through the eyes of their readers. She explores the ways in which individuals use media products in their daily lives, as well as the interpretative repertoires they employ in order to make sense of media texts. Drawing on extensive interviews with readers (both women and men), Hermes shows that, for many readers, women's magazines are a genre that helps pass empty time, that are easily put aside when other things need to be done and that sometimes offer stories or information that may strengthen the reader for a while. Readers are, on occasion, empowered by magazines, which may provide them with the opportunity to imagine 'perfect selves. 'While based on original ethnographic research, this book also covers a broad spectrum from Woman, Woman's Own and Cosmopolitan to feminist magazines and gossip magazines.
The book provides both a detailed analysis of a particular media genre and an excellent introduction to the role of media products in the day-to-day lives of individuals.
'Reading Women's Magazines is an eminently readable,
innovative and daring book, taking the study of media consumption
one step further in the direction of an anthropology of everyday
life, where it belongs.'
Ien Ang, Murdoch University, Australia
'The audience orientation of the book is likely to make it of
particular interest to students studying the sociology of the
Times Higher Education Supplement
1. Everyday Media Use.
2. Easily Put Down:.
How Women and Men read Women's Magazines.
3. Portrait of Two Readers.
4. Reading a Feminist Magazine:.
Fantasising the Female Homo Universalis. .
5. Reading Gossip Magazines:.
The Imagined Communities of "Gossip" and "Camp".