The Joys of Text: Women=S Experiential Consumption of Magazines

ABSTRACT - This interpretive study explores the pleasures that women readers derive from their consumption of magazines. It describes the relationship between women’s texts and women’s bodies, and the extent to which women’s magazines offer women Afeminine@ pleasures. The findings reveal the physicality of reading and the conflation of body and mind that occurs in women’s experiential consumption of magazines. Indeed they suggest that women’s magazines offer women a totality of enjoyment akin to the concept of jouissance, and they enable women to celebrate their right to their own space, their own time and their own pleasures.



Citation:

Lorna Stevens, Stephen Brown, and Pauline Maclaran (2001) ,"The Joys of Text: Women=S Experiential Consumption of Magazines", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 5, eds. Andrea Groeppel-Klien and Frank-Rudolf Esch, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 169-173.

European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 5, 2001      Pages 169-173

THE JOYS OF TEXT: WOMEN=S EXPERIENTIAL CONSUMPTION OF MAGAZINES

Lorna Stevens, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland

Stephen Brown, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland

Pauline Maclaran, De Montfort University, United Kingdom

ABSTRACT -

This interpretive study explores the pleasures that women readers derive from their consumption of magazines. It describes the relationship between women’s texts and women’s bodies, and the extent to which women’s magazines offer women "feminine" pleasures. The findings reveal the physicality of reading and the conflation of body and mind that occurs in women’s experiential consumption of magazines. Indeed they suggest that women’s magazines offer women a totality of enjoyment akin to the concept of jouissance, and they enable women to celebrate their right to their own space, their own time and their own pleasures.

INTRODUCTION

This is a study of women’s genres and women’s pleasures. It is also about the relationship between women’s texts and women’s bodies, and the extent to which women’s magazines can be perceived as "feminine" texts offering "feminine" pleasures. The study, located within the experiential consumption paradigm, is based on in-depth interviews with women readers of magazines, and it explores the particular textual and experiential qualities of women’s magazines, and the nature of the pleasures they provide.

HEDONIC AND EXPERIENTIAL CONSUMPTION

The quest for pleasurable consumer experiences is a distinctive feature of modern consumerism that is characterised by an individual’s interest in the meanings and images that can be imputed to the product (Campbell, 1987). Hirschman and Holbrook’s work on experiential and hedonic consumption (1981, 1982) shifted the emphasis in consumer research away from the traditional view of consumers as rational information processors. They argued that consumers’ sensory-emotive stimulation and the stream of associations that occurred during consumption provided rich insights into consumer experience. They also noted that "emotional arousal" was a major motivation for the consumption of certain product categories such as novels. The authors concluded that consumer behaviour was "far more sensorily complex, imaginative and emotion laden" than had previously been reflected in marketing research. This focus on the experience of consumption has become an important one in contemporary consumer research, an on-going project to explore a more experiential, less mechanised consumer (Belk, 1995). The "new consumer behaviour" addresses itself to the consumption experience itself, emphasising the subjective, the emotional and the unconscious, with primacy given to emotions over rationality, and to experience over cognition (Elliott, 1999).

The emphasis of this study is on understanding consumer experience and acknowledging its social and cultural situatedness (Belk, 1995). As such it is also compatible with much feminist literary criticism and feminist cultural studies, in its privileging and validating of women’s lived experience (Reinharz, 1983, Nye, 1988), and its looking inwards at emotions, senses and feelings (Lury, 1991). Given the experiential consumption focus of the study, the body and the senses are privileged over the brain and cognitive processes. As such, "sensory stimulation" and "emotional arousal" are important motifs running through the text that follows, and in this sense it is in tune with postmodern feminist theory, which reclaims the body’s corporeality and its desires (Shildrick,1997).

WOMEN’S GENRES: A FEMININE FORM?

Women’s magazines are often described, along with other women’s genres such as soap operas and romance fiction, as a "feminine" or "feminised" space, one that offers women a particularly "feminine" consumption experience. The relationship between genre and gender is an increasingly difficult nettle to grasp, perhaps because today categorisatons along gender lines, or indeed any other lines for that matter, are widely regarded as "slipping" and in crisis (Curti, 1998). The political issues embedded within discussions of genre and gender fall outside the aims of this present study. Suffice to say that "women’s genres" is a recognisable category that is attributed with distinct characteristics and qualities. These are as follows: they tend to be open-ended, fluid and cyclical in form; they inscribe female desire; they comprise multiple, women-centred narratives; they have a relational and private sphere focus; they are primarily written by and consumed by women; and they address or construct a feminine subject/spectator. Perhaps most significantly, they are perceived as literary forms that reflect women’s lives and indeed women’s sexuality (Modleski, 1982; Kuhn, 1984; Geraghty 1991, Beetham, 1996).

Geraghty (1991) writes that women’s genres encourage us to "feel" our way into texts and "try out" a range of different personas without having to "live" any of them, and Ang (1985) likens women’s consumption of these genres to "dressing up", trying out different modes of femininit(ies) without necessarily being committed to any of them. Ballaster et al (1991) suggest that women’s magazines - open-ended, heterogeneous and fragmented - mirror the contradictory nature of "femininity" itself: a woman becomes "a multi-faceted consumer who is in a continual, never-ending process of constructing herself " (p. 12). The conflation of sexuality with textuality, and female desire with consumption, that occurs in women’s genres, is aptly referred to by Winship (1987), in the context of women’s magazines, as "that nexus of femininity-desire-consumption". To what extent are these elements processual and inter-connected? Can we define women’s magazines as "feminine" texts? Is sex and text conflated in them, with the one determining the other?

French feminists such as HTlFne Cixous and Luce Irigaray believe that women’s language springs from the body, from female desire and sexuality, both of which they describe as multiple, diffuse, boundless, and impossible to pin down. Irigaray believes that women’s bodies and women’s meaning making in language are intimately connected (in Humm, 1995) and Cixous (1988) writes "there is a bodily relationship between reader and text" (p. 148). L’Tcriture fTminine is a feminine linguistics that is characterised by simultaneity, plurality and mobility (Humm, 1992). It is "more fluid than direct, more experiential than argumentative" (Warhol and Herndl, 1997, p. 344). Do women’s texts reflect women’s experience and speak to female desire as the French feminists claim?

The view that women’s language and women’s experience of language is inscribed with women’s sexuality is often critiqued as being an essentialist and thus limiting view that upholds a biological determinism and political conservatism. However Fuss (1989), for example, suggests that Irigaray’s work secures "a woman’s access to an essence of her own, without actually prescribing what that essence might be, or without precluding the possibility that a subject might possess multiple essences" (in Fraser and Bartky, 1992, p. 109). Indeed the emphasis in L’Tcriture FTminine is on women’s fluidity and multiplicity, and it is this that enables women to resist boundaries. Irigaray, for instance, writes that women are always in the process of becoming (1993), and this is reflected in women’s experience of language: "to embrace words and persistently to cast them off. To touch upon but never to solidify, to put into play but never to arrive at a final telos or meaning" (in Fraser and Bartky, 1992, p. 102). The perception of women’s interaction with language as "play" emphasises the experiential dimensions of text, how our lives affect our experience of text, and how our experience of text infuses our lives. It also stresses the sensory and emotional aspects of our involvement with text, and reminds us of Holbrook and Hirschman’s comment that all consumer behaviour is a text in search of interpretation.

WOMEN’S GENRES AND JOUISSANCE

Women’s genres such as romance fiction, soap opera or women’s magazines offer a rich source of pleasure and fantasy, of escapism and gratification for women which often has little or nothing to do with their "real" experience, their everyday lives. Indeed Ang (1996) suggests that women may enjoy being seduced by such genres precisely because they don’t have any "reality value". Pleasure, she argues, has nothing to do with outcomes but everything to do with "the process of seduction"; fantasy is "a reality in itself, a fundamental aspect of human existence which enables us to evoke alternative and more attractive scenarios than those experienced in real life" (p. 93). Gratification, as such, resides not in the realisation of fantasies but rather in the activity of fantasising itself, or, to put it another way, pleasure resides in the activity of reading, the experience of reading.

Romantic fiction is a self-perpetuating genre, both textually and in its mode of marketing (Philips, 1990). It is a genre that creates "a perpetual desire to repeat the experience" (Radway, 1987, p. 105), largely because, as a woman’s form, it resists closure. As a genre, women’s romance thus facilitates a repetitive consumption pattern; consummation is never achieved and thus we return to them again and again; they offer "a permanent state of foreplay" (Light, 1984, p. 23). McCracken (1993) notes that the way in which magazines are read: the delays, the interruptions, etc, may even heighten women’s pleasure as readers. Pleasure, for the reader, is in the journey, the quest itself, and the promises it offers.

Ballaster et al (1991) write that "reading" a magazine involves pleasures of action and participation, of reading ahead; of reading back to front; of creating one’s own narrative. Women’s magazines, they conclude, offer women the excitement of consumption, whether this is imagined or actual consumption. Whilst pleasure has increasingly been focused on in research on women’s genres, pleasure continues to be perceived as problematic from a feminist perspective (Tasker, 1991, Hollows, 2000). Hollows suggests, however, that pleasure need not be categorised as positive or negative, but merely as an intrinsic and important aspect of contemporary consumption. The pleasurableness inherent and embedded in the experience of reading a woman’s magazine may be sufficient reason, in itself, for valuing and indeed privileging the consumption experience facilitated by it.

The concept of jouissance in French feminist theory contributes further insights in the context of women’s genres and the pleasures they offer, not least for the connections jouissance makes between the female body, desire and language. Humm (1995) refers to jouissance as a totality of enjoyment - sexual, spiritual, physical and conceptual, an experience that is outside of linguistic norms in the realm of the poetic. According to Shildrick (1997) jouissance is not only an alternative linguistic discourse that overflows the closure of male discourse, but "an expression of a process of production at the interface of body, desire and language." (p. 178). Roland Barthes in The Pleasure of the Text (1976) makes a distinction between texts of pleasure (plaisir - contentment) and texts of bliss (jouissance - rapture). He describes the former as enjoying a consistency of selfhood, and the latter as seeking a loss of selfhood. Texts of bliss are usually regarded as symptomatic of "feminine" reading: "an active, free, but crisis-ridden dissolution of subjectivity and ecstasy" (Irigaray, 1981, in Ballaster et al, 1991, p. 31). Kristeva also makes a distinction between "plaisir" (sexual pleasure), and "jouissance" (total joy or ecstasy) (in Humm, 1995). According to Barthes, jouissance is being beyond words and impossible to express in words. It is about action, not words, about experience, not ideas. In keeping with this emphasis the present study’s focus is on the action and the experience of reading, and the extent to which women’s magazines offer women pleasures akin to the concept of jouissance.

METHODOLOGY

Consistent with an interpretive and feminist approach, the analysis of findings is done from the perspectives of the consumers involved, with the objective being to understand their motives and feelings. In keeping with the aims of a phenomenological interview, the research study was concerned with exploring the "lived experience" of respondents (Thompson et al, 1989, p. 135), and with letting subjects speak for themselves. As such the emphasis was on respect rather than concern, reflecting a postmodernity rather than modernity discourse (Hermes, 1997).

In her study of romance fiction Radway (1987) privileges readers over text. She argues that reader response theory enabled her to understand what reading these books meant to its audience, addressing contextual issues and romance reading "as a form of behaviour" (p 7). Suleiman (1980) writes that a focus on readers assigns itself to "the multiplicity of contexts, the shared horizons of belief, knowledge, and expectation, which make any understanding, however fleeting, of minds or of texts, possible" (p 45). Privileging the reader is compatible with much feminist research, as it alters the traditional balance of power and enables the reader to make of text what she will. This present study also privileges readers, focusing on readers’ experience of text, rather than text itself.

The study is based on sixteen in-depth interviews and four focus groups with women, all of whom were in what the women’s magazine market like to refer to as the "middle-youth" age group, that is to say they were mostly in their 30s. Most of the women were married or co-habiting with partners, most had children, most worked full-time, and all read women’s magazines. Compatible with a phenomenological interview the goal was to obtain a first-person description of a particular aspect of the interviewee’s experience (Thompson et al, 1989). Accordingly the interviews were conducted in an informal fashion; they each lasted at least an hour; and any questions or probes were aimed at bringing about as much detailed descriptions of experiences as possible. The women were recruited using the researcher’s professional and personal network, employing "snowballing" or "friendship pyramiding" (Kitzinger 1989, p. 87 in Hermes, 1997).

FINDINGS

The Experience of Reading

The pleasures of anticipation- When the women described the experience of reading a magazine and the rituals attached to their reading of magazines, there was a strong emphasis on the anticipatory aspects of consumption, and how anticipation enhanced their pleasure. For example, several made the point that the situation had to be right: they didn’t want to read the magazine when they weren’t sufficiently relaxed and thus couldn’t give it their full attention. As the following extract also indicates, Katie realised that when she spoke about her magazine consumption she might in fact have been talking about love making, perhaps a good illustration of Irigaray’s "erotics in reading":

"I would see it there and say I’ll leave it until - it’s like opening a Christmas present, isn’t it? You have to - it’s tempting but you don’t actually open it. ... It’s like you’re building up to something, it’s something you’re looking forward to - It’s like foreplay! [laughs] It’s like looking forward to Christmas or something and [the build up] is generally more exciting than the actual thing!" (Katie)

Delaying its consumption in no way detracts from the pleasure it provides, in fact it may even enhance the pleasure. After all, the reader doesn’t want to "ruin" it by reading it at a time when she cannot devote her full attention to it:

"Yeah I might have it for a couple of days before I would read it you know, I wouldn’t want to ruin it by just bringing it home and having a look through it when I’m making the tea, I would have to be able to have that wee bit of time to myself and sit down and have a look through it. ... I usually flick to start with, I flick through everything, I don’t read anything the first time around, and then I start working my way through it then slowly." (Helen)

Sarah put her magazine on a table in the hallway. She would wait until she had a chance to read it properly: "I’m just waiting for the opportunity, but I know it’s there", she said. Occasionally this sense of anticipation was accompanied by feelings of anxiety, not unlike Campbll’s (1987) romantic ethic perhaps, that consummation would result in disappointment: "Sometimes the idea of it is so nice that I’m scared of being disappointed", said Karen. Very often women’s anticipation is bound up with other sensual pleasures, such as chocolate, coffee, wine, or physical comfort. Erin described it thus: "you’re on your way home and you’re thinking yeah, great, I’m going to sit, and I’m going to have a cup of coffee and a bar of chocolate and my magazine".

Loving Oneself- Women’s magazines often enable women to express their regard and indeed affection for themselves, to experience a sense of nurturance in a life where the demands of children, work and home may give them little opportunity for that. Sarah described reading her magazine in the bath as "time well spent." She goes on: "Half an hour in the bath is like looking after ourselves really". Karen also described the pleasure of going into a world where she could just forget about everything and "pander myself for a change". The more common expression would be "pamper". In saying "pander" she may be suggesting both that reading magazines enables her to "spoil" (pamper) herself and also gratify (pander to) herself. Most of the women described their reading of magazines as one of a number of things that enabled them to be "self-indulgent". In order for it to be a self-indulgent experience, the women, almost without exception, liked to read alone, regarding the experience of reading a magazine as a private one. As Helen expressed it: "You can’t do it when the kids are around, or when you have friends round. It’s not very sociable ... because you do have to be quite focused on it to enjoy it and appreciate it". Another reader, Marie, said: "It’s my little egocentric world that I’m satisfying and nothing beyond that, you know. It’s very, very insular".

Losing Oneself- The women who were interviewed used magazines to bring about a desired state of mind. Often this state of mind is relaxation; or pleasure; it makes no demands on them, it is just "there". They enter a zone of pure indulgence, a "winding down" that enables them to stop worrying about their everyday concerns, and the demands that others make on them. The way that magazines enabled women to "switch off" and "lose" themselves was often described as one of their main advantages:

"I think it’s just been a way of switching off and getting engrossed in something else for a while ... switching off from my life. It’s nice to just lose yourself ... either magazines or books - I can get totally engrossed ... Switching off from whatever I had been doing before." (Katie)

Relaxing the Body- As the above extract also indicates, magazines are endowed with the ability to bring about physical changes in the reader. They enable them to relax, wind down and feel happy. It is not so much what they are as what they can do. They seem to have transformative power and even therapeutic qualities:

"I’ve found that maybe I’ve woken up at three or four if something was worrying me and I know that I’ll put the light on and read and that is actually a way of clearing my - the clutter if you like, out of my brain, because it comes back to this, you know ... It unclutters my brain. ... I mean it goes back to that sort of escapism thing again, that it allows you to clear your mind and relax. .... It’s a total switch-off, that lets you relax. You know you can almost feel yourself ... if I go to bed quite hyper the only way I can actually slow myself down even on a physical note is to read, and reading a magazine does that, you know, so there is a physical side to it - as well as a sort of an emotional shutdown there’s also a physical shutdown, because I need to be lying over on my side, and I would sort of flick through it like that, and that’s me, sad as I am! [laughs]" (Caroline)

Magazines "allow" Caroline to clear her mind; they "let" her relax. Sarah also alluded to their ability to "slow you down". She goes on to say "it’s not that it’s boring but I feel a bit calmer. I’m in the bed, reading a magazine. I just drop it on the floor, and that’s me".

Stimulating the Body- Aside from their power as relaxants magazines are often used to have the opposite effect. Magazine consumption is often referred to as "instant gratification" or "quick fix" stimulants, likened to sugar or chocolate, that act as "pick me ups" but whose effects are short-lived and whose benefits are somewhat dubious:

"... it’s just completely in your face, there on the plate and you don’t have to do anything. It is just instant gratification with calories attached and you know, it’s empty, it’s like sugar, it’s empty calories sort of thing. But that’s okay for when you want that, you know, it has a purpose, it fulfils a need sort of thing at that time, but for long term nourishment I would prefer a book. ... It’s very hedonistic, isn’t it? Very kind of self-gratification kind of - you know, none of it is pure genuine sustenance." (Marie)

Janice draws a similar analogy to Marie, this time with chocolate, and describes the guilt that is often bound up with the pleasure of indulging in a magazine: "You get a quick fix, you know, you’re on a high, and then after you finished it you’re on a sort of a down - and sometimes a magazine would leave you feeling like that, you know, back to life. ... you think I shouldn’t have eaten that chocolate! [laughs]".

A Feminine Form?

Easy Reading- As suggested in the literature on women’s genres, many women found that the form of women’s magazines increased their enjoyment, because they were compatible with the pattern of their lives. They particularly liked the fact that they were easy to "dip in and out of" and put down, and they didn’t require much attention, or intellectual effort. This "ease" with which women’s magazines could be read was a point that was frequently made by the women readers. Sirita expresses it thus: "it’s just being able to pick it up, and you can flick through it".

Everything is at your fingertips- At other times the "ease" of magazines also resided in the fact that they offered variety and choice in an easily assimilated form, and this was an important aspect of the pleasure they provided:

"Everything is at your fingertips. Rather than waiting on your programme coming on or trying to do this or - you’ve got your clothes, your food, everything’s there for you ... you switch off and information is given to you, you know, you don’t have to think or - it’s just all there - and there’s pictures - it’s all there." (Jules)

Most of the women readers used phrases like "flicking" or "dipping" or "browsing" to describe how they read magazines. The way in which magazines were read, the reading act itself, was described in positive terms, as an intrinsic part of the pleasure. This perhaps recalls Moore’s (1986) observation that browsing can, of itself, be both a liberatory and very enjoyable act on the part of the magazine reader. Above all, the women emphasised that women’s magazines offered immediate pleasures, requiring the minimum of effort for the maximum return:

"It’s the instantaneous pleasure and the short-lived pleasure from magazines, because you can’t get it out of a book until you’ve read the whole book, whereas you can get it from a magazine, just dipping into it, dipping in, and you get a wee bit of it and you dip back out again." (Helen)

Another reader, Lisa, comparing magazines to books, said, "to me a magazine is just something that doesn’t require anything of me".

Enjoying the Journey- The form of women’s magazines themselves were often referred to as being intrinsically pleasurable, as in the following extract from Finnoula’s interview, when she makes specific reference to their open-ended and cyclic nature. Interestingly, she suggests that the ease with which they can be read means that there’s less "guilt". This may be because less time and effort are invested in their consumption and thus she has no difficulty justifying the time she spends on them, or perhaps she is suggesting that whilst guilt and pleasure so often go together, in this instance they do not:

"It’s enjoyable. There’s no beginning, middle or an end. And you know there’s no guilt about it or anything. You just enjoy it. ... that’s the beauty of magazines - that you can kind of flick through them and pause when yu want. And pass things by, and maybe go back." (Finnoula)

Much of the instantaneous pleasure seems bound up with their freedom and choice as readers. After all, the journey is not prescribed, but is defined by the reader herself.

Reading Scenarios

Private Places- Most of the women who were interviewed read magazines in places and spaces that enabled them to relax and have privacy. The favourite places mentioned were baths, sofas, armchairs, beds and toilets, usually in that order! In these places they had physical comfort, silence and, perhaps most importantly, solitude. The right scenario enabled them to devote themselves to their own pleasures, and magazines had a key role in these "self-indulgent", "time for me" periods. Sarah describes one such scenario:

"I read them, not as a pastime but as a time for me. ... That’s something that I do for myself, it really is something that’s completely self-indulgent. I get in the bath, the lights are off, the candles are on, everything’s steamed up because I have to have it so I’m nearly boiling myself. The bubbles are there, the door’s locked, she [her daughter] could be squealing blue murder, but it’s got to be something good to get me out of the bath. It’s very self-indulgent, whereas I think I do the rest of the stuff because I think that’s what everybody else expects me to do." (Sarah)

This is a zone that enables Sarah to focus on herself. She is no longer doing what is expected of her from other people. Instead she is doing what she wants to do. Her magazine consumption is intricately related to sensual pleasures and self-gratification as she describes a private space that enables her to focus on her "self" and her pleasures. The experience of reading a magazine is intricately connected with a sense of self-identity, and indeed self-regard. It is part of an almost ritualistic celebration of her body.

The importance of privacy, silence, and solitude in terms of the right reading scenarios was emphasised throughout the interviews and was a key element in women’s experiential consumption of magazines. Essentially it was an act of self-love that was done behind closed doors. As Katie expressed it "there’d be no noise; silence; you’d just want to be on your own and lock the door I would need total peace". It was not so much what magazines were as what they could do for the reader, as is vividly conveyed in the following extract:

"I wouldn’t read anywhere maybe except in bed, or god help me, sitting on the loo or something like that, because I connect it with relaxation and I don’t want anybody else around and I don’t want - I wouldn’t want to sit beside someone in the living room and read a magazine; You know, I would - it’s almost like a personal thing - go away and do it - because I want my attention focused on that ... I really have to be removed...For me it’s more this escape to be by myself and relax, wind down, and use a magazine in that way." (Caroline)

Caroline’s extract, whilst emphasising the intrinsically private nature of her magazine consumption also emphasises the predominance of experiential aspects in magazine reading. The magazine’s importance for her resides in its ability to have a certain effect on her. She "uses" a magazine in a certain way, in order to achieve a desired effect.

DISCUSSION

To what extent is reading a magazine a physical experience? From the interviews it is apparent that most of the women are in direct communication with their bodies when they read, wrapped up in a private pleasure zone which has much more to do with sensuous, sensual and emotional aspects than with cognitive, rational ones. From the findings it also seems at times that we are not far from Irigaray’s auto-erotics of reading or Cixous’ erotics of language (in Humm, 1995). The interviews certainly reveal the physicality of reading, as well as the conflation of body and mind that occurs in experiential consumption of magazines. They also perhaps illustrate what Barthes refers to when he writes that "the pleasure of the text is irreducible to physiological need." (p. 17). From the findings it seems women’s magazines give women a "totality of enjoyment" that recalls descriptions of jouissance. In this context they enable women to simultaneously enjoy, through the text, the "consistency" of selfhood and "its collapse, its fall" (Barthes, 1976, p. 21), and this loving and losing of self, this "dissolve", is the essence of jouissance.

Radway (1987) writes that romantic fiction provides its readers "with an important emotional release that is proscribed in daily life because the social role with which they identify themselves leaves little room for guilt-less, self-interested pursuit of individual pleasure" (p. 96). She writes that they express women’s ritual wish to e cared for, loved, and validated in a particular way; and they offer women "a vicarious experience of emotional nurturance and erotic anticipation and excitation" (p. 105). From this study it seems that women’s magazines are also a medium and a means through which women can experience nurturance; they are a haven at both a physical and an emotional level.

Women’s magazines enabled the readers in this study to validate themselves as women and as individuals. They enabled them to celebrate their right to their own space, their own time, and their own pleasures. The women who were interviewed emphasised that such moments of "self-indulgence" were rare, but the rarity of these moments made them all the more desirable and precious. Holbrook, recalling the Romantic Movement, refers to the joys and longings of consumption. The joys of reading magazines, of experiencing women’s magazines, are that they may enable women to experience emotional and sensory pleasure, not least since they provide them with a reason to take a long hot bath!

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Authors

Lorna Stevens, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland
Stephen Brown, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland
Pauline Maclaran, De Montfort University, United Kingdom



Volume

E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 5 | 2001



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