This study exmaines the continuities and changes in images and roles of women in popular magazines from the early 1900s to the 1980s. I also look at the theories that attempt to explain the inequalities between men and women in relation to these images and roles. One of the many theoretical disciplines which has studied the changes between the roles, how they are defined, and who determines them is feminism, which blames male-domination for the subordination of women. Feminism also studies existing sociological theories like childhood socialization and structural coercion to attempt to determine the causes for women's subordination in Western society. Childhood socialization theory looks at the socialization processes to understand why women occupy the roles that they do; structural coercion studies the institutions of society that create the division between the public and private spheres. The data was collected through a content analysis of Good Housekeeping, Vogue, and Ms. magazines. It was concluded that women's magazines indicate and discuss what popular culture views as the role of women in society, and what the various elements of her femininity should be at a given time. The idea of femininity has changed throughout the twentieth century, from juding a woman's femininity on her mothering and wifely abilities, to a more overall evaluation of a happy, self-fulfilled woman.


McConnell, David


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

Available for download on Thursday, January 01, 2150

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© Copyright 1993 Allison J. Zweig