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Women's Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1918-1939The Interwar Period$
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Catherine Clay, Maria DiCenzo, Barbara Green, and Fiona Hackney

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474412537

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474412537.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

Making the Modern Girl: Fantasy, Consumption, and Desire in Romance Weeklies of the 1920s

Making the Modern Girl: Fantasy, Consumption, and Desire in Romance Weeklies of the 1920s

Chapter:
(p.87) 6 Making the Modern Girl: Fantasy, Consumption, and Desire in Romance Weeklies of the 1920s
Source:
Women's Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1918-1939
Author(s):

Lise Shapiro Sanders

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474412537.003.0008

The 1920s saw the rise of a global discourse about ‘the modern girl’, whose fashions, hairstyles, and behaviors shaped, and were shaped by, changing social and sexual mores. Young working- and lower-middle-class women were the primary market for the romance weeklies of this era, which have been discounted by critics as little more than escapist fantasies. Although the majority of these magazines or ‘pulps’ focused on fashion, glamour, and romance at the expense of explicitly political discourses around suffrage, work, and family, in their pages the figure of the modern girl came to stand in for changing perceptions of women’s cultural roles – particularly in the transformations wrought by modern consumption and leisure practices, such as the burgeoning fan culture around silent cinema. The romance weeklies offered the opportunity for readers to work through both the dangers and the possibilities of social and sexual agency for young women in the 1920s.

Keywords:   romance weeklies, pulps, modern girl, cinema, consumption, fashion, leisure, 1920s

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