With reference to masculinity and or femininity discuss the view that lifestyle magazines offer their audience a conservative construction of gender.

Essay by beaufille_l June 2004

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Lifestyle magazines deal in entertainment and leisure, they tend to be gender specific and have a mode of address to that of a peer. They tend to target specific age groups within genders. The lifestyle magazine market is an oligopoly, which means that a small group of publishers dominate the market. Publishers tend to spread their titles and so can pick up the readers, as they grow older. Magazine companies survive through dual stream revenue, and the money is mostly obtained through advertising and so therefore the right audience are needed for the advertisers.

Gender is the cultural definition of male (masculinity) and female (femininity) determined by society. The ideologies surrounding the term gender change over time and so therefore are also debatable. Definitions of gender are often promoted through the media and therefore are connected to dominant groups of society and so contain dominant ideologies, which tend to be from male, white middle class people.

Representations are the process by which ideologies are articulated and communicated through the media. The media do not present the world 'as it is'; they re-present the world, normally according to dominant ideological values.

Lifestyle magazines have to stick to the dominant ideas of gender within society otherwise the magazines would be inconsistent. Men's magazines tend to contain a lot of objectification of women, and men read magazines for entertainment as opposed to women who read them for information as well. Both men's and women's magazines tend to privilege male roles within society. Dennis McQuail stated that the reason that people read magazines was for four main reasons; the need for information, the need to maintain a personal sense of identity, the need for social interaction and the need to be entertained and diverted.

The front cover of the February 2002 edition...