When the Mainstream Met the Second Wave: Media Representations of Women & Feminism in 1970s America

By: Annie Anderson '12

Advising Faculty: Catherine Stock

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the presentation of second wave feminism in the mainstream media, focusing specifically on coverage done by Time and Life magazines.

It begins by taking a close examination of the issues released in 1970, paying special attention to the story of Kate Millett, and continues by analyzing coverage of the movement and feminism through the end of the seventies to determine how the feminist movement came to be remembered as it is today. These magazines were selected based on their circulation and target audiences, which were representative of mainstream, middle-class America.

The interdisciplinary approach of this project lies in its attention to media studies and gender and women’s studies, specifically in how these different disciplines inform each other to create a comprehensive history of America’s past. It is further exemplified by the deconstruction of both visual imagery and texts of different publications, and examines mainstream interpretation of a largely grassroots movement, addressing a cultural gap in American society and looking at the politics of memory, gender, equality, democracy and freedom in the United States.

This paper can be viewed at Digital Commons @ Connecticut College, http://digitalcommons.conncoll.edu/americanstudieshp/4/

Related Fields: American Studies