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Femininity and consumption - Book Report/Review Example

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Christopher Breward’s 1994 publishing of the Femininity and Consumption: The Problem of the Late Nineteenth-Century Fashion Journal text highlighted a key connection between femininity and consumption. The literature stands out in that such a connection is rarely spoken of…
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Femininity and consumption

Download file to see previous pages... In the following review, his main arguments are presented as they add up to reveal this connection as well as how they point at the literature as a commendable read.
In the book, Breward sought to express the shift in the perception of femininity as the 18th century faded and the 19th century was dawning. In the 18th century, femininity was not the same as what the 19th century brought with it. During the transition, a female journal, that is publications targeting women, significantly shifted their attitudes and perceptions towards femininity and how its nature was reflected in dress. During this period, women, represented by femininity, were emerging as equal to their male counterparts, and no publication wanted to remain in the context of negatively stereotyping women as had been in the 18th century. In a nutshell, Breward seeks to highlight the new culture in publications that was influenced by journal publishers at the onset of the 19th century. This influence was in turn caused by the realization by the journal publishers that femininity, as a culture, and specifically its fashion part, was an overly marketable commodity (Breward 72). Maya’s Journal of Dress and Fashion is applied in the literature as the journal of reference in that it emerged, and although similar publications existed at the time, was able to outdo its competitors to become a female’s favorite lead. In it, the new wave of femininity as a marketable commodity is perfectly outlined. The “problem” part according to Breward is that in as much as a new woman was emerging; the journals still retained some negative stereotypes such as confining her to the home (75). As such, as long as the publications existed, they contributed to the enshrining of females in failing to come to terms with their new position as was being offered by the new century.
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