The Adman in the Parlor: Magazines and the Gendering of Consumer Culture 1880s to 1910s / Edition 1

The Adman in the Parlor: Magazines and the Gendering of Consumer Culture 1880s to 1910s / Edition 1

by Ellen Garvey
     
 

How did advertising come to seem natural and ordinary to magazine readers by the end of the nineteenth century? The Adman in the Parlor explores readers' interactions with advertising during a period when not only consumption but advertising itself became established as a pleasure. Garvey argues that readers' participation in advertising, rather than top-down

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Overview

How did advertising come to seem natural and ordinary to magazine readers by the end of the nineteenth century? The Adman in the Parlor explores readers' interactions with advertising during a period when not only consumption but advertising itself became established as a pleasure. Garvey argues that readers' participation in advertising, rather than top-down dictation by advertisers, made advertizing a central part of American culture. Garvey's analysis interweaves such texts and artifacts as advertising trade journals, magazines addressed to elite, middle class, and poorer readerships, scrapbooks, medical articles, paper dolls, chromolithographed trade cards, and contest rules. She tracks new forms of fictional realism that contained brand name references, courtship stories, and other fictional forms.

As magazines became dependant on advertising rather than sales for their revenues, women's magazines led the way in making consumers of readers through the interplay of fiction, editorials, and advertising. General magazines, too, saw little conflict between these different interests. Instead, advertising and fiction came to act on one another in complex, unexpected ways. Magazine stories illustrated the multiple desires and social meanings embodied in the purchase of a product. Garvey takes the bicycle as a case study, and tracks how magazines mediated among competing medical, commercial, and feminist discourses to produce an alluring and unthreatening model of women bicycling in their stories.

Advertising formed the national vocabulary. At once invisible, familiar, and intrusive, advertising both shaped fiction of the period and was shaped by it. The Adman in the Parlor unearths the lively conversations among writers and advertisers about the new prevalence of advertising for mass-produced, nationally distributed products.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195108224
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
06/28/1996
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.13(h) x 0.49(d)
Lexile:
1540L (what's this?)

Meet the Author

Ellen Gruber Garvey's involvement with periodicals began in her four years at Liberation News Service. She has taught American Studies and is now Assistant Professor of English at Jersey City State College.

Table of Contents

Introduction3
1Readers Read Advertising into Their Lives: The Trade Card Scrapbook16
2Training the Reader's Attention: Advertising Contests51
3"The Commercial Spirit Has Entered In": Speech, Fiction, and Advertising80
4Reframing the Bicycle: Magazines and Scorching Women106
5Rewriting Mrs. Consumer: Class, Gender, and Consumption135
6"Men Who Advertise": Ad Readers and Ad Writers166
Conclusion: Technology and Fiction184
Notes187
Index221

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