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Rhetoric of Imagery: Gendering Identity and Consumption Throughout Interwar American Advertisment

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Date Issued:
2017
Abstract/Description:
Interwar American advertising rose alongside new levels of hygiene, personal appearance, and technology in order to sell their products to target audiences. Despite the abundance of scholarship on media and gender, few studies have examined the gendered techniques through which interwar advertisers communicated with consumers in response to changing social norms and economic stability. The question this thesis explores is how these changes and communication shifted in response to consumer culture and how advertisers utilized early market research and persuasion techniques to target their audiences. Building on the studies of gender, consumption, and identity, this thesis examines the relationship between American advertisers and their targeted male and female consumers between 1920 and 1940. By exploring how admen and women within Madison Avenue's top advertising agencies utilized psychology and consumer feedback to develop a two-way communication with middle-classed consumers, this thesis draws from social, cultural, and gendered studies to understand how advertisers communicated with and tried to appeal to their target audiences. Utilizing both copy and imagery as sources of communication, this study examines every issue of the top circulating American magazines between 1920 and 1940 to explain how advertisers rose with early consumer behavioral psychology and new standards of sanitation and hygiene, how a growing consumer culture and American notion of identity and gender affected the selling of selfhood and personal beauty products, and how gendered media representations and persuasion techniques helped advertisers sell modernity and individuality to readers. This analysis surveys specific advertising campaigns before, during, and after the Stock Market Crash to follow shifts in appeals to masculinity and femininity in response to changing social norms. By delving into this intersection of gender, media, and identity, this study finds various nuances through which advertisers and their audiences communicated in and alongside a growing consumer culture.
Title: Rhetoric of Imagery: Gendering Identity and Consumption Throughout Interwar American Advertisment.
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Name(s): Delgado, Natalie, Author
Dandrow, Edward, Committee Chair
Crepeau, Richard, Committee Member
French, Scot, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2017
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Interwar American advertising rose alongside new levels of hygiene, personal appearance, and technology in order to sell their products to target audiences. Despite the abundance of scholarship on media and gender, few studies have examined the gendered techniques through which interwar advertisers communicated with consumers in response to changing social norms and economic stability. The question this thesis explores is how these changes and communication shifted in response to consumer culture and how advertisers utilized early market research and persuasion techniques to target their audiences. Building on the studies of gender, consumption, and identity, this thesis examines the relationship between American advertisers and their targeted male and female consumers between 1920 and 1940. By exploring how admen and women within Madison Avenue's top advertising agencies utilized psychology and consumer feedback to develop a two-way communication with middle-classed consumers, this thesis draws from social, cultural, and gendered studies to understand how advertisers communicated with and tried to appeal to their target audiences. Utilizing both copy and imagery as sources of communication, this study examines every issue of the top circulating American magazines between 1920 and 1940 to explain how advertisers rose with early consumer behavioral psychology and new standards of sanitation and hygiene, how a growing consumer culture and American notion of identity and gender affected the selling of selfhood and personal beauty products, and how gendered media representations and persuasion techniques helped advertisers sell modernity and individuality to readers. This analysis surveys specific advertising campaigns before, during, and after the Stock Market Crash to follow shifts in appeals to masculinity and femininity in response to changing social norms. By delving into this intersection of gender, media, and identity, this study finds various nuances through which advertisers and their audiences communicated in and alongside a growing consumer culture.
Identifier: CFE0006870 (IID), ucf:51740 (fedora)
Note(s): 2017-12-01
M.A.
Arts and Humanities, History
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): gender -- advertising -- interwar -- identity -- gendered identity -- consumer culture -- J. Walter Thompson -- psychology -- commodification -- separate spheres -- American Advertising -- hygiene -- insecurities -- discourse -- Walter Benjamin -- dialectical theory -- first impression formula -- media representations -- branding
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0006870
Restrictions on Access: public 2017-12-15
Host Institution: UCF

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