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Deconstructing the legacy of the 'Savage' woman : the politics of displacing boundaries of difference in Panache magazine

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Deconstructing the legacy of the 'Savage' woman : the politics of displacing boundaries of difference in Panache magazine

Abraham, Christiana (2001) Deconstructing the legacy of the 'Savage' woman : the politics of displacing boundaries of difference in Panache magazine. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis deconstructs the notion of the 'savage' woman by focusing on the case of Saartje Baartman nicknamed the 'Hottentot Venus'. Deemed a denigrated African woman, she was displayed and studied in Europe by Enlightenment's scientists. Such studies were pivotal in defining her 'anatomical difference', and became the foundation of philosophies, and stereotypes that have defined images of non-European women for the centuries that followed. This case study examines how layers of acquired discourses developed through an ideology of 'otherness'. By locating media practice as central to the reproduction of knowledge, this thesis points to how the legacy of this ideology of difference has become an intricate part of contemporary print media practice. This knowledge is readily accessible through the reproduction of stereotypical representations of world majority women in mainstream fashion magazines. This thesis, therefore, explores how the naturalization of the knowledge of 'otherness' in media practice is challenged through an analysis of Panache magazine. Panache is a fashion and lifestyle magazine for world majority women that locates women other than 'white' and 'western' as its central subject and audience. This thesis places the construction of the 'savage' woman as the historical legacy that Panache magazine seeks to tackle. The thesis analyses how Panache magazine conducts its kind of resistance within the confining boundaries of the women's magazine genre. It looks at how problematic resistance can become. At the same time, it also assesses the importance of media resistance in the production of counter-ideologies and discourses.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Abraham, Christiana
Pagination:vi, 114 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:Communication Studies
Date:2001
Thesis Supervisor(s):Roth, Lorna
ID Code:1508
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:19
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:21
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