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Food Is Love: Advertising and Gender Roles in Modern America Hardcover – June 8, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press (June 8, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812239296
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812239294
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,712,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

...a delectable history of food advertising... -- American Historical Review, April 2007

...an engaging read...clear organization, comprehensiveness, and authority...a valuable resource for scholars. -- Journal of American History, March 2007

Heavily researched, with extensive notes and an index, Food is Love is a singularly revealing insight... -- Midwest Book Review Bookwatch, November 2006

This is an enlightening study of gender roles in advertising, recommended for all larger libraries. -- Library Journal, August 1, 2006

From the Publisher

Katherine Parkin teaches history at Monmouth University.

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Format: Hardcover
Written by Katherine J. Parkin, Food is Love: Advertising and Gender Roles in Modern America is a scholarly examination of the American cultural precept that women should express love by serving food to their families (regardless of the actual amount of work involved in its preparation). In particular, the concept that women could use food preparation to give themselves sexual allure, make their marriage happy, and improve their family's social standings and prospects became the favored revolving theme of advertisers. Food advertisements at once both celebrated women's homemaking talents, and threatened women's insecurities to coerce the female demographic to buy the right products - their products. Heavily researched, with extensive notes and an index, Food is Love is a singularly revealing insight into this consumptive and surprisingly constant dimension of the American female and cultural psyche.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Blanchard on October 19, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Katherine J. Parkin's study on gender roles in modern America analyzes the role of food advertising in creating and sustaining a connection between food and feminine gender roles. Using ads from a spectrum of mainstream magazines and insider records from advertising agencies, Parkin traces the commercial mechanisms that place women as the preparers, procurers, and servers of foods for their families. The meat of her argument contends that these unpaid roles of women in American families translate largely to the provisioning of love, and that advertisers sold the idea that this responsibility solely rests on the shoulders of women.
Parkin, in this study, wanted to see how these ads create a mosaic of ideal behavior for the readers and to explore how the ads and the advertisers "sought to shape their vision" of femininity within in the roles of wife and mother. To accomplish this, Parkin includes copies of actual ads that illustrate the kinds of tactics used to create a vision of the woman who happily caters to her family's desires and who gets personal satisfaction by doing so. The ads are highly effective in creating and sustaining her thesis of the uniform targeting of women over time and prove to be interesting and often humorous vignettes of bygone eras, until it becomes obvious through Parkin's keen eye for subtlety that the message remains the same.
Parkin uses a historical framework, outlining the demographic and ideological shifts in American population to juxtapose the startling sameness of food advertising. She shows that amidst all of this change, food was, and continues to be, marketed mainly to women. By showing their love with food, women fulfill their obligation to their families.
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