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

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Description

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.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 152.4 x 223.52 x 17.78mm | 385.55g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • halftones
  • 0195108221
  • 9780195108224
  • 1,658,792

Review quote

"A rich and innovative study that will be of interest to anyone concerned with late nineteenth and early twentieth century American culture....Garvey offers a fresh and illuminating reading of American magazines at the turn of the century and uses this reading to examine a number of related literary and cultural concerns."-Susan Williams, Ohio State Universityshow more

About Ellen Gruber Garvey

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.show more

Back cover copy

How did advertising come to seem ordinary and even natural to turn-of-the-century magazine readers? 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's analysis interweaves such diverse texts and artifacts as advertising scrapbooks, chromolithographed trade cards and paper dolls, contest rules, and the advertising trade press. She argues that the readers' own participation in advertising, not top-down dictation by advertisers, made advertising a central part of American culture. As magazines became dependent on advertising rather than sales for their revenues, women's magazines led the way in turning readers into consumers through an interplay of fiction and advertising. General magazines, too, saw little conflict between editorial interests and advertising. 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. 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.show more

Rating details

12 ratings
3.83 out of 5 stars
5 17% (2)
4 50% (6)
3 33% (4)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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