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FASHIONING THE FEMALE : An Analysis of the “Fashionable Woman” in ELLE Magazine –Now and Then

by Nömm, Heidi Marie

Abstract (Summary)
ABSTRACTTitle: FASHIONING THE FEMALE -An Analysis of the “Fashionable Woman” in ELLE Magazine - Now and ThenNumber of pages: 57 (including diagrams and figures, excluding enclosures)Author: Heidi Marie NömmTutor: Ylva EkströmCourse: Media and Communication Studies D Level, Master ThesisPeriod: Spring term 2007University: Uppsala University Division of Media and Communication Department of Information SciencePurpose/Aim: The purpose of this master thesis is to investigate how fashion can function as a communication channel and how the modern Swedish woman is represented in ELLE magazine within two different fashion decades, in 1992 and 2007.Material: Swedish ELLE magazines No. 1-4 1992 and No. 1-4 2007.Method: A complementary combination of quantitative content analysis, semiotics and critical discourse analysis.Main results: A number of differences, as well as similarities can be recognised between the fashions of 1992 and 2007. The latter one is characterised by women looking serious, sometimes even austere while 1992 shows often happy women. The fashion styles are much more casual, colourful and more accessorised by jewellery etc. in 1992, while the clothing in 2007 is often tight, body hugging and reveals more skin. Concerning ethnicity, 2007 only shows white women, often very feminine and wearing mostly dresses and rarely pants, whereas 1992 is characterised by ELLE’s effort to show a more multicultural and diversified picture of the female. The semiotic analysis has lead to the conclusions that women in 1992 were more natural and “real” whereas the female picture ELLE is presenting often has fictional or unnatural elements. The fashion styles often seem un-wearable in 2007, however also rather artistic. The woman of 2007 is living a more expensive and extravagant lifestyle than in 1992 where women were more of en depicted “average”.Keywords: Fashion, communication, representation, lifestyle, cultural studies,feminism, ELLE magazine, femininity.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Uppsala universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:fashion communication representation lifestyle cultural studies feminism elle magazine femininity

ISBN:

Date of Publication:12/06/2007

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