Desperately Seeking Women Readers

Desperately Seeking Women Readers : U.S. Newspapers and the Construction of a Female Readership

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Desperately Seeking Women Readers considers explicitly named women's pages in U.S. newspapers to understand how the newspaper industry has constructed women readers. Special pages for women developed in the 1890s but by the 1960s had disappeared. The book investigates the creation and collapse of these pages before considering contemporary case studies to articulate why newspapers during the 1990s recreated sex-specific pages. The author argues that women's sections reinforce women as consumers and men as citizens.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 136 pages
  • 154.9 x 226.1 x 15.2mm | 317.52g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739114905
  • 9780739114902

Review quote

Dr. Harp uses key moments in U.S. media history to show the women's section as a staple of the newspaper and how it was abandoned, made over, and reintroduced as one industry's impoverished attempt to appeal to women. -- Therese L. Lueck, professor of communication, University of Akron ...this book is a thoughtful follow-up to Kay Mills's A Place in the News: From the Women's Pages to the Front Page (1988). Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals. -- R.A. Logan, emeritus, University of Missouri?Columbia CHOICE It is very readable and well-organized with excellent chapter and section summaries. There are enough notes and documentation to satisfy the academic. Graduate-level students of journalism or mass-media will find this a fascinating study and an excellent example of what can happen at the intersection of media and culture and how economic systems can impact news content. -- . American Journalism: A Media History Journal, Winter 2008 A particular strength lies in the integration of economic and editorial issues in analyzing newspaper women's pages from an historical perspective as a product of mass communication in a capitalistic, consumption-oriented society. This work should be of interest to all involved in graduate level journalistic studies. It offers an excellent discussion of the complexities of defining news by gender as well as the profit-driven motivations for doing so. It is an original and stimulating work, presenting insights not available in other literature. -- Maurine H. Beasley, University of Maryland College Park
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About Dustin Harp

Dustin Harp is assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
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Table of contents

Part 1 Part I: Introduction Chapter 2 Newspapers, Women, Social Movements, and Money Part 3 Part II: The History of Women's Pages Chapter 4 Introducing "Women's News" Chapter 5 From Women's Pages to Style Pages Part 6 Part III: Contemporary Women's Pages: Case Studies Chapter 7 Same Problem, Same Solution Chapter 8 Conceptualizing and Constructing Contemporary Women Chapter 9 Contemporary Complaints and Contradictions Chapter 10 Resistance, Reason, and Real Change Part 11 Part IV: Conclusions Chapter 12 What is in a Name? An Argument for Integration Not Segregation
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