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The Best That You Can Be: Conflicting Messages of Liberation and Oppression in Indian Cosmopolitan Magazine

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Author: Brown, Andrea Frances
Advisor: Meyer, Leisa D.
Committee Members: Gray, Nancy, 1947-; Phillips, Kimberley L. (Kimberley Louise), 1960-
Issued Date: 2010-05-14
Subjects: Mass Communications
Women's Magazines
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10288/2023
Description: Cosmopolitan is a controversial magazine among feminist scholars, because it contains both liberating and oppressive messages for women. The following is a study of the history of the Cosmopolitan philosophy and its distribution in modern India. I argue that Cosmopolitan's liberating discourses of sexual and economic independence for women is accompanied by discourses of sexualization and mass consumption due to Cosmopolitan's ties to the capitalist advertising and publishing industries. Discourses of sexualization and mass consumption negatively affect Indian citizens by contributing to the proliferation of eating disorders, environmental degradation and economic stratification. I focus on the presence of cultural hybridization on the pages of Indian Cosmopolitan and the role of Indian elites in the production and distribution of these discourses. This study points to the significant role of mass media, and more specifically women's magazines, in India's development.
Degree: Bachelors of Arts in Women's Studies

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