Presentation Title

The Influence of Popular Culture on Women’s Identities: A Diachronic Discourse Analysis of Vogue Magazine

Advisor Information

Frank Bramlett

Location

Milo Bail Student Center Gallery Room

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

8-3-2013 3:15 PM

End Date

8-3-2013 3:30 PM

Abstract

Vogue claims to be a magazine that empowers women through its strong female editors, writers, designers, and models. Vogue’s continued relevancy and influence on millions of women has inspired an analysis of Vogue’s discourse and a discussion of how this discourse shapes women’s identities through an understanding of performativity (Butler). This large-scale discourse analysis examines whether or not ideologies encouraged by Vogue changed over time and how these ideologies influenced identity formation. The discourse features identified in over 84 articles, spanning a time period of over 100 years, include the use of titles, pronouns, and consumer jargon. Through an examination of these features, I discovered Vogue’s discourse originally influenced women’s identity formation in relation to men. With the rise of the second wave of the feminist movement, this method of identity formation declined as women became more independent, causing a gap in women’s identity formation. A consumer driven identity filled this gap, and currently, Vogue’s discourse encourages women to build their identities through the idea of a “synthetic sisterhood” (Talbot). Vogue’s discourse also promotes a certain level of esthetic perfection. While the discourse in Vogue changed to encourage an understanding of women beyond their esthetic, the importance placed on esthetic perfection never diminished. This is shown through the “problem + solution” (Litosseliti) model found in Vogue and further promotes this synthetic sisterhood. Overall, Vogue’s discourse encourages women to implicitly reinforce the patriarchy by participating in this synthetic sisterhood, which is driven by consumerism culture inherently found in capitalism.

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Mar 8th, 3:15 PM Mar 8th, 3:30 PM

The Influence of Popular Culture on Women’s Identities: A Diachronic Discourse Analysis of Vogue Magazine

Milo Bail Student Center Gallery Room

Vogue claims to be a magazine that empowers women through its strong female editors, writers, designers, and models. Vogue’s continued relevancy and influence on millions of women has inspired an analysis of Vogue’s discourse and a discussion of how this discourse shapes women’s identities through an understanding of performativity (Butler). This large-scale discourse analysis examines whether or not ideologies encouraged by Vogue changed over time and how these ideologies influenced identity formation. The discourse features identified in over 84 articles, spanning a time period of over 100 years, include the use of titles, pronouns, and consumer jargon. Through an examination of these features, I discovered Vogue’s discourse originally influenced women’s identity formation in relation to men. With the rise of the second wave of the feminist movement, this method of identity formation declined as women became more independent, causing a gap in women’s identity formation. A consumer driven identity filled this gap, and currently, Vogue’s discourse encourages women to build their identities through the idea of a “synthetic sisterhood” (Talbot). Vogue’s discourse also promotes a certain level of esthetic perfection. While the discourse in Vogue changed to encourage an understanding of women beyond their esthetic, the importance placed on esthetic perfection never diminished. This is shown through the “problem + solution” (Litosseliti) model found in Vogue and further promotes this synthetic sisterhood. Overall, Vogue’s discourse encourages women to implicitly reinforce the patriarchy by participating in this synthetic sisterhood, which is driven by consumerism culture inherently found in capitalism.