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“Mainstream” (def.). Daily publication (vs. weekly) Advertising revenues Circulation Reporters’ references to official (government, business, institutional) sources vs. individuals or outliers Traditional news frames vs. minority positions Not monolithic—many perspectives possible.
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“Mainstream” (def.) • Daily publication (vs. weekly) • Advertising revenues • Circulation • Reporters’ references to official (government, business, institutional) sources vs. individuals or outliers • Traditional news frames vs. minority positions • Not monolithic—many perspectives possible
Getting women into the workforce: Mainstream journalism as wartime propaganda
Outline I. Timeline II. Propaganda techniques III. Mainstream propaganda for mainstream change IV. Seeds of change V. Trajectory chart
I. Time-line 1940-44 Number of women at work increases by 50 percent; 7 million women take non-traditional jobs. Def. of “women’s work” and place of work changed.
I. Time-line (cont.) 1940 12 million women work outside the home 12/11, 1941—Germany declares war on US 1944 19 million women work outside the home (plus 58 percent)
I. Time-line (cont.) May 8, 1945 — War ends in Europe Aug. 14, 1945—War ends in Asia (Japan)
I. Time-line (cont.) 1946 One million women remain in newly feminized jobs in industry; two million in office jobs.
II. Propaganda techniques A. The media 1. Radio 2. Newspapers 3. Magazines
B. Pictures tell the story • The NY Times (Fall 1941) • Life • Newsweek • Christian Science Monitor • The Nation • Margaret Bourke-White
Norman Rockwell’s “Rosie the Riveter” cover for The Saturday Evening Post, 29 May 1943.
Margaret Bourke-White, self-portrait, 1943
III. Mainstream propaganda for mainstream ideological changeA. Pre-war ideological norms • Women worked only at home (child-rearing and housework). • Looking pretty (glamour) was a prime source of social currency and power for women. • Men worked only outside the home as primary providers.
III. B. How change took place Social theory How much change was there? “Hegemony” — Antonio Gramsci, Frankfurt School, Marxist (def.) When a subordinate group consents to the terms of its own subordination.
Hegemony involves these effects: — Subordinate groups stay subordinate. — Dominant groups stay dominant. — The overall system keeps going.
III.C. “The Beauty Myth:” How women were persuaded to change AND stayed the same, at once. Concepts: Aesthetics = ideology Gender roles
III. D. Valorizing femininity: In praise of normal attributes • Finger dexterity • Moral energy • Physical energy • Attention to detail
III—Summary: Mainstream media and social control • Media changed social rules, but not broader principles of social organization • Principle protected: The Fourth Estate as a key rule-maker.
IV. Seeds of change A. Daycare B. Race C. Social movements
V. Trajectory chart • Outsiders? No ideological opposition within the American media. • Goal for change?To mobilize the whole ideological system against Nazism and the Axis powers. • Mainstream press’s ideological base? Wartime propaganda to get women into the workforce without upsetting the dominant institutional power structure. • Outcome? Mainstream journalism changed mainstream “rules” re: women, work, and the home; Overall: Victory over Japan and Germany.