By L. Jeffries
This quantity takes a severe discourse method of the methods women's magazines give a contribution to the social building of specific types of girl physique - as perfect, appealing, gruesome, obese or engineered. the language used, it offers an perception into the adventure of the feminine reader, and the most probably impression upon her self-image.
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Extra resources for Textual Construction of the Female Body: A Critical Discourse Approach
The motivation for the research reported here, apart from a personal one, was that women have to deal with their material bodies on a daily basis,7 and in the face of whatever construction the culture currently puts on their bodies. I wanted to see what some of the apparently helpful texts in women’s magazines were actually doing to perceptions. At first sight, the texts studied all appear to be aimed at helping the contemporary female cope with the ‘problematic’ body. This construction of the body as a problem is one of the overwhelming impressions one gets, even just flicking through the pages of women’s magazines.
A different kind of item based on readers’ experiences is also common in pregnancy magazines. ’ These ‘normal-range’ stories serve a pedagogical function, of course, in telling novice mothers about the range of possibilities they face. There 36 Textual Construction of the Female Body are others, equally pedagogical in effect, which chart the experiences of readers who have had life-threatening or other traumatic experiences, such as the loss of a child. One such text from Our Baby tells the story in first-person narrative mode of a woman who had a premature baby who died followed by an ectopic pregnancy from which she nearly died herself.
Feminism, theory and the body Constructing the female body The title of this book, as will be evident to some readers, takes a particular theoretical viewpoint. This has already been previewed in the earlier sections of this chapter which introduced the particular critical discourse analytic approach that is taken here. The material world is assumed to be at least partially experienced through the way it is described and thus ‘constructed’ for us. Thus, it is assumed that there is likely to be some effect on the reader’s perceptions if it turns out that the data portrays the female body in particular, ideologically significant, ways.