Female representation in Le Petit Journal, Europe’s first mass circulation daily

Chapman, Jane (2011) Female representation in Le Petit Journal, Europe’s first mass circulation daily. In: Parcours de femmes: Twenty Years of Women in French. Peter Lang. ISBN 9783034302081

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Abstract

This chapter (based on a British Academy funded project) quantifies female influence in Le Petit Journal, avatar of France’s popular press and Europe’s first daily to achieve mass circulation with a ‘modern’ commercial approach and a cheap sales price of a ‘sou’. Decisions about what the female audience was likely to be interested in were made by men, and were defined fairly conventionally in representations that were increasingly negative. A study of Le Petit Journal’s launch year of 1863 is compared to 1896 when the paper was riding high as an established and successful brand name. During this golden age of the popular press, financial considerations came first, coloured by masculine perceptions of what female audiences wanted and by largely Bonapartist political sympathies amongst the high profile editorial team. Coverage tended towards the prurient and sensational, categorised into what is referred to as ‘the 4 ‘Vs’: victorious, virtuous, vicious and victim. The findings relating to this conservative feminisation challenge some of the existing interpretations of the effects of mass culture, and resonate with criticisms of today’s media stereotyping of women.

Item Type:Book Section
Keywords:Le Petit Journal, golden age of popular press, female audiences, Bonapartist political sympathies, media stereotyping of women, press history, history of tabloids, tabloidisation, press and commercialism, belle epoque, new women, fin de siecle, jc2010
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P300 Media studies
R European Languages, Literature and related subjects > R130 French Society and Culture
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P990 Mass Communications and Documentation not elsewhere classified
R European Languages, Literature and related subjects > R120 French Literature
L Social studies > L321 Women's Studies
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P590 Journalism not elsewhere classified
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V144 Modern History 1800-1899
R European Languages, Literature and related subjects > R100 French studies
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V221 French History
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P900 Others in Mass Communications and Documentation
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P400 Publishing
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P390 Media studies not elsewhere classified
R European Languages, Literature and related subjects > R190 French studies not elsewhere classified
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P500 Journalism
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Journalism
ID Code:2608
Deposited By: Jane Chapman
Deposited On:08 Jun 2010 17:54
Last Modified:30 Aug 2013 14:12

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