B. A. Major Thesis Supervisor: Mgr. Jan Chovanec, Ph. D

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Masaryk University

Faculty of Arts
Department of English
and American Studies

English Language and Literature

Ivana Bartošková

A Linguistic and Feminist Analysis of Style Magazine
B.A. Major Thesis
Supervisor: Mgr. Jan Chovanec, Ph.D.

I declare that I have worked on this thesis independently,

using only the primary and secondary sources listed in the bibliography.


Author’s signature


I would like to take this opportunity and thank the supervisor of my thesis Mgr. Jan Chovanec, Ph.D. for his guidance, support and inspirational comments which contributed to the final form of this work.

Table of contents

Table of contents 5

1. Introduction 10

1.1 History 10

2. Texts analyzed 12

3. Thesis and research 14

3.1 Content analysis 16

3.1.1. Columns range 16

3.1.2 Traditional vs. feminist approach 17

Traditional Feminist 18

In the first category, Schlenker included “latest fashion trends; shopping for clothes; hairstyles; makeup; beauty products; how you look to others” (1998:4). In the second category, besides common articles dealing with relationships, even feature articles on male actors, musicians, footballers and other popular men are included. In the third category, Schlenker covers “cooking; sewing; crafts...; playing hostess; decorating” (1998:5), however only cooking and decorating is to be found in Style. Self-development, the fourth category, includes “health; how to take care of yourself; quizzes about personality; relations with friends and partners (excluding boys); hobbies” (Schlenker 1998:5). The fifth category, career development, includes according to Schlenker “going to college; spotlight on famous women (athletes/actresses) and their careers; what it is like to work for in a certain career area” (1998:5). Political/world issues deal with environment; international issues; volunteering for the war; political articles; features on foreign high schools (Schlenker 1998:5). 18

May 28 18

June 4 18

June 18 18

June 25 18

July 23 18

1. Appearance 18

“Pinafores” 18

“Fashion Style” 18

“Too Too Much” 18

“Splash!” 18

“Beauty Style” 18

“Polka Dots” 18

“Heads Up” 18

“Fashion Style” 18

“Line of Beauty” 18

“Go Gingham” 18

“Jet Set” 18

“Beauty Style” 18

“Bikinis” 18

“Fashion Style” 18

“Chelsea Girl” 18

“Life’s a Beach” 18

“Beauty Style” 18

“The Scandal of the ₤1,000 Dress” 18

“Ground Control” 18

“Fashion Style” 18

“Aunt Sally” 18

“Beauty Style” 18

“New Bronze Age” 18

“Come On In” 18

“Fashion Style” 18

“Beauty Style” 18

“For When Life’s a Beach” 18

2. Male/Female Relationships 18

“Celebrity Sex Clinic” 18

“Sexual Attraction” 18

“Aunt Sally” 19

“Celebrity Sex Clinic” 18

“The Dream Team” 18

“It’s Worth the Wait” 19

“Aunt Sally” 19

“Celebrity Sex Clinic” 18

“Aunt Sally” 18

“Dated, Discredited and Deeply Ungroovy?” 18

“The Polygamous Marriage” 19

“Celebrity Sex Clinic” 18

“Aunt Sally” 18

“Smartie Pants” 19

3. Home 19

“Take One Bird” 19

“Movers and Shakers” 19

“Floor Show” 19

“A Good Grilling” 19

“Wild and Free” 19

“A Bit of Fluff” 19

“Golden Balls” 19

“Hoxton On Sea” 19

“Casa Chiefs?” 19

“A Cracking Idea” 19

“Easy Like” 19

“Balearic Mix” 19

“Throwing it Together” 19

“No Strings Attached” 19

“English Eccentric” 19

4. Self-development 19

“The Fear Inside” 19

“What’s the Alternative?” 19

“The New Superberries” 19

“Troubled Gland” 19

“What’s the Alternative?” 19

“Celebrity Fat Club” 19

“My Heart Belongs to Daddy” 19

“What’s the Alternative?” 19

“Get Smart” 19

“What’s the Alternative?” 19

“Great Expectations” 19

“What’s the Alternative?” 19

5. Career Development 19

“I Am What I Am” 19

“Queen of the Scene” 19

“Schools for Cool” 19

“I Am What I Am” 19

“I Am What I Am” 19

“I Am What I Am” 19

“I Am What I Am” 19

6. Political/World Issues 19

“The Good Life?” 19

“Another Summer of Love” 19

“The Asian Invasion” 19

3.2 Synthetic personalization 21

3.2.1 Rational and expressive values of lexis 22

3.2.2 Presuppositions 22

3.2.3 Pronouns we, you, and I 24

3.2.4 Interpolation 27

3.2.5 Problem pages 28

3.2.6 “How-to” genre 30

3.3 Gendered lexis 33

3.4 Style and lifestyle 37

3.4.1 Advertising style 37

3.4.2 The style of the expert 40

4.1 What linguistic tools are used for the construction of femininity? 42

4.2 What other linguistic tools are used? 43

4.3 What kind of ideology does Style offer in general? 43

Works cited 44

1. Introduction

Women's magazines are becoming a very popular cultural form and are one of the sources which create women's view of the world. Women's magazines also help to shape contemporary values in a society; they set fashion trends, determine how a woman should behave and look, and create important ideological messages. Women's magazines are becoming highly powerful mainly by virtue of their language and pictures. And it is language that is going to be the most important aspect in the following analysis. First, a brief historical account is introduced; then a chapter introducing texts that are being analyzed follows. The next chapter specifies research questions and the main thesis and defines linguistic features that are being analysed. Finally, the research itself follows with the conclusion.

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