chapter  32
15 Pages

The Changing Magazine Audience

Enriching the Reader Relationship
WithRachel Davis Mersey

This chapter provides a discussion of what researchers know about social identity and how it might be applied to the craft of transformative magazine making. It examines the broad literature regarding magazine audiences but primarily focuses on the seminal literature related to social identity theory. Magazines are operating in a media world that is being transformed at what may be an increasing pace. The preponderance of early scholarly work on magazine audiences relied on the uses and gratifications framework, which emerged in the 1940s. Multiple media effects studies have looked at the relationship between media and social cues given young women. Creating relationship with readers and potential readers requires more thoughtfulness. Researchers have traced the relationship between magazines and audiences, relying on the construct of identity as the primary driver of audience media selection and engagement as described by social identity theory.