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Writing themselves into the text : letters to Ms., 1993-1998

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Writing themselves into the text : letters to Ms., 1993-1998

Fawcett, Linnet (1999) Writing themselves into the text : letters to Ms., 1993-1998. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the important and oft-neglected role of the Letter to the Editor in women's magazine culture. It does so through a textual analysis of letters and editorials in Ms ., an American feminist magazine which has, since its inception in 1972, set itself up as an alternative to "traditional" and "glossy" women's magazines. Informed by existing studies on historical and contemporary women's magazines, this thesis demonstrates how Ms ., with its unique way of addressing the reader and soliciting reader response, encourages its readers to become active participants in both the making and shaping of the text, and in the political process beyond the magazine. It shows how readers, through their letters, contribute to the on-going dialogue that is feminism, and forge connections to other readers. Paying close attention to how readers negotiate belonging to Ms . and build a sense of solidarity with others within this textually based medium, this thesis posits that it is through epistolarity, not the shared act of reading, that community is constituted. In drawing attention to the centrality of the Letter to the Editor in Ms ., this thesis raises our awareness of the non-participatory reality of most women's magazines.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Fawcett, Linnet
Journal or Publication:Ms.
Pagination:vi, 119 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:Communication Studies
Date:1999
Thesis Supervisor(s):Sawchuk, Kimberly A
ID Code:847
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:14
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:17
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