Departmental Bulletin Paper <ARTICLES> Advertising and the Depiction of Working Women in Croissant during the 1980’s and 90’s.
[論説] 80年代と90年代の『クロワッサン』誌における広告の中の働く女性像

FREY, Urszula

20pp.233 - 252 , 2017-03-30 , 京都大学大学院人間・環境学研究科 社会システム研究刊行会
Women’s magazines can be used as a kind of mirror of the social reality of the time. Even though the content of the magazines does not actually reflect reality, it is still a useful medium to take a peek into the past (Holthus 2000). The magazines come out periodically, in the case of Croissant, two-times a month. Each number is supposed to be the “same” as the last one, and each number is “new” and “different” from the last one. This double identity offers the reader both stability and transformation, and allows the researcher to follow the change over the years. Advertisements are a useful way to study this transformation, as they are both a space bought by companies to advertise products, and they are sold to the readers to shape their views and actions (Beetham 2000). Croissant was for the first time published in 1977. It raised discussions around the years 1988 and 1989, resulting in the publishing of two books, “The Croissant Syndrome” (Matsubara 1988), and “The Anti-Croissant Syndrome” (Waifu Henshuubu 1989), which discussed whether it should be held responsible or not for women delaying their marriage (K. Sakamoto 1999). The magazine had a rather feminist standpoint during the 80’s, leaning in the 90’s towards a magazine more focused on outward appearance, and placing more emphasis on cosmetics, fashion and dieting (Holthus 2000). By approximately the year 1984, its biggest target public were women in their 30’s (K. Sakamoto 2016), and, according to research done by the Pola Cultural Research Institute (Pora Bunka Kenkyuujo), in 1993, Croissant has been influential as it was the fifth most read magazine among women aged 35 to 39, 40 to 45 and 45 to 49 (Takeuchi 2000).

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