Document Type

Thesis

Publication Date

2011

Abstract

Analysis of the politics of the advertising of cosmetics in national, mainstream, middle-class, women's magazines (Ladies Home Journal) and mainstream, middle-class, general interest periodicals (Life and Saturday Evening Post) in the 1930s provide important insight into the Great Depression. Scholars have established that advertisements can help uncover the cultural and social norms and ideals of a society as well as the aspirations of the advertisers who created the ads. In fact, ads reflect and shape cultural norms, ideals, and visual stereotypes, and offer insight into consumption practices and the shifting shape of the "American Dream," consumption, and social mobility. Ads were created to appeal to large segments of society in order to sell a product, which needed to be framed so many people could imagine its application in their lives. Through the examination of these applications, societal patterns are revealed.

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