Comparative Study of Magazine Romantic Fiction, True Life Stories and Celebrity Stories: Utopia, Closure and Reader’s Participation
|Author||Lamuedra Graván, María|
|Department||Universidad de Sevilla. Departamento de Periodismo I|
|Published in||Mapping the Magazine : proceedings of the First Mapping the Magazine Conference (pp. 1-15)|
|Abstract||British women’s weeklies can be classified into three groups: those which concentrate on Romantic Fictional Stories such as The People’s Friend, those which offer a significant number of True Life Stories, such as Take a Break, and those which conta
British women’s weeklies can be classified into three groups: those which concentrate on Romantic Fictional Stories such as The People’s Friend, those which offer a significant number of True Life Stories, such as Take a Break, and those which contain mainly Celebrity Stories such as Hello! This article starts by classifying the best-selling British women’s magazines in terms of content, readership and genres used. This will establish a tendency towards a generational divide in magazine readership: older readers make up almost the entire readership of romantic-realist stories, while middle-aged readers tend to prefer True Life Tales, also known as TOT (Triumph Over Tragedy) stories (Ferguson, 1983). Celebrity Magazines have the youngest readership of all. The article aims to explore two aspects, which have been linked, to modern and post-modern features: the kind and degree of participation of readers in relation to each type of format and the relation between text and ‘utopia’. For this purpose, three stories will be analysed: a Romantic Story, a True Life Story and a Celebrity Story, which are representative of (most of) the main genres contained in each type of magazine. The article will rely on some ideas of authors such as Eco (1979), Hebdige(1989) as well as some findings from my own fieldwork.