MAD MEN and WORKING WOMEN
FEMINIST PERSPECTIVES ON HISTORICAL POWER, RESISTANCE, AND OTHERNESS
by Erika Engstrom, Tracy Lucht,
Jane Marcellus, Kimberly Wilmot Voss
On Teen Vogue magazine's "Epic Feminist Reading List"
PETER LANG PUBLISHING, INC.
ISBN 978-1-4331-3330-5 (paperback, revised version 2016)
ISBN 978-1-4331-2419-8 (hardcover, original version 2014)
ISBN 978-1-4539-1254-6 (e-book)
From the back cover:
This book offers interpretive and contextual tools to read the AMC television series Mad Men, providing a much-needed historical explanation and exposition regarding the status of women in an era that has been painted as pre- or non-feminist.
In chapters aimed at helping readers understand women’s lives in the 1960s, Mad Men is used as a springboard to explore and discover alternative ways of seeing women. Offering more than a discussion of the show itself, the book offers historical insight for thinking about serious issues that “modern” working women continue to face today: balancing their work and personal lives, competing with other women, and controlling their own bodies and reproductive choices.
Rather than critiquing the show for portraying women as victims, the book shows subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) ways that feminism functioned in an era when women were supposedly caught between the “waves” of the women’s movement but when, the authors argue, they functioned nonetheless as empowered individuals.
By doing so, it provides historical context and analysis that complicates traditional interpretations by (1) exploring historical constructions of women’s work; (2) unpacking feminist and non-feminist discourses surrounding that work; (3) identifying modes of resistance; and (4) revisiting forgotten work coded as feminine.
ERIKA ENGSTROM (Ph.D., University of Florida) is Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is the author of The Bride Factory: Mass Media Portrayals of Women and Weddings.
TRACY LUCHT (Ph.D., University of Maryland) is Associate Professor at Iowa State University. She is the author of Sylvia Porter: America’s Original Personal Finance Columnist.
JANE MARCELLUS (Ph.D., University of Oregon) is Professor at Middle Tennessee State University. She is the author of Business Girls and Two-Job Wives: Emerging Media Stereotypes of Employed Women.
KIMBERLY WILMOT VOSS (Ph.D., University of Maryland) is Associate Professor at the University of Central Florida. She is the author of The Food Section: Newspaper Women and the Culinary Community.
Business Girls and Two-Job Wives
Emerging Media Stereotypes of Employed Women
HAMPTON PRESS, 2011
The interwar years—1918–1941—marked a time when women‘s contributions to World War I, the passage of the 19th Amendment, postwar business expansion, and changing social mores put the cultural conversation over women‘s employment into high gear. Meanwhile, popular magazines were becoming more visual, more commercial, more affordable—and more influential.
This book examines magazine representation of women's paid employment during this critical period, identifying stereotypes that the author argues were used to reinscribe female workers into a domestic discourse. These stereotypes, the author argues, are echoed today in print media, on television, in film and on the Internet.
ISBN: 978-1-57273-989-5 (paper)
ISBN: 978-1-57273-988-8 (cloth)
From the back cover:
“A must read for any scholar of U.S. history, economics, political science or media.”
—Rita Henley Jensen, founder of Women’s eNews
“This well-written and ambitious book shines new light on 'a forgotten workforce whose struggles have been overshadowed by images of Rosie the Riveter and women who took jobs (as if for the first time) in the 1970s,‘ filling a gap in not only media history, but also women‘s history, labor history, and American cultural history.”
—Carolyn Kitch, author of
The Girl on the Magazine Cover: The Origins of Visual Stereotypes in American Mass Media
From published reviews:
“[A]n engaging read covering gender and economics, social custom and social policy, and media history….a rich compendium of material and analysis that makes an important contribution to the study of media and society and the role gender plays.”
Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly
“Marcellus used an interdisciplinary approach to integrate feminist studies, critical media discourse, media history, and popular culture. Consequently, this book is suitable for both undergraduate and graduate students in a variety of courses and disciplines…. Media history and popular culture scholars will discover a rich resource focusing on magazines from the interwar years plus a variety of more recent media….Marcellus does an excellent job filling gaps in academic literature.”
Janet Rice McCoy
American Journalism, Summer 2011
“Marcellus provides a compelling and broad framework of stereotypes of working women that will no doubt be of use to future scholars.”
JHistory, H-Net Reviews in the Humanities and Social Science, July 2011
“[T]his book prompted us to look at women in the workforce from a new perspective.”
C.B. “Bud” Johnston Library News
University of Western Ontario, March 2011