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Continuing the contradictions: A multimodal investigation into the front covers of real-life magazines

Rudge, Luke A.

Authors

Luke Rudge Luke2.Rudge@uwe.ac.uk
Senior Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics



Abstract

Studies analysing women’s magazines note contradiction as a common theme, whether it be the content of the magazines and the ideological values presented therein, or at broader, political levels. This paper empirically investigates to what extent contradiction may occur on the covers of real-life magazines (a subgenre of women’s magazines; N = 100). Employing a multimodal analysis of the textual, visual, and compositional modes, contradiction is posited to occur at various levels. Overall, while these covers present a seemingly upbeat character at a glance, themes of a distressing nature – including but not limited to abuse and violence – are present throughout. The interactions between associated texts and imagery, and the relative salience of these elements, are suggested as key factors in these contradictory compositions. Furthermore, these factors are posited as explanations for why real-life magazines are often in full view in magazine racks around the UK, yet are omitted from the scrutiny that other (sub)genres of magazines undergo.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Oct 1, 2019
Journal Journal of Magazine Media
Print ISSN 2576-7887
Publisher University of Nebraska Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 1
Pages 17-43
APA6 Citation Rudge, L. A. (2019). Continuing the contradictions: A multimodal investigation into the front covers of real-life magazines. Journal of Magazine Media, 19(1), 17-43. https://doi.org/10.1353/jmm.2019.0003
DOI https://doi.org/10.1353/jmm.2019.0003
Keywords contradiction, journalism, women’s magazines, multimodality, salience, real life
Publisher URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/jmm.2019.0003
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