chapter  13
13 Pages

Gender, Race and Ethnicity

Magazines and the Question of Self-Identity
WithCheryl Renée Gooch

This chapter explores improvements to approaches used to study the complexities of race, gender and ethnicity, and the question of self-identity in relation to magazines. The identity dissonance framework, an elaboration of Leon Festinger’s theory of cognitive dissonance, is evident in studies exploring gender identity dissonance experienced by readers of women’s magazines who attempt to negotiate conflicting identities. Media scholarship addressing gender, race and ethnicity reflects a shift toward exploring the complexities of identity. In Gender, Race, and Class in Media: A Critical Reader, Gail Dines and Jean Humez present critical scholarship examining mass media as economic and cultural institutions that shape social and self-identities. Content and textual analytic studies point to useful knowledge that emerges from raising new, different questions while expanding assumptions about gender, race and identity. Portrayal studies of women both in advertisements and editorial coverage, national and global, reveal an array of issues informing ideas of sexual and gender identity, fashion, beauty and social position.