A “Woman’s Job”: A Visual Analysis of World War I and World War II Images of Women in the United States

TitleA “Woman’s Job”: A Visual Analysis of World War I and World War II Images of Women in the United States
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsEko, Lyombe, Mark Gring, and Migelena Sterndori
DegreeMass Communication
Date Published2017/08
UniversityTexas Tech University
CityLubbock, United States
Thesis TypeMasters of Art
Abstract

Throughout time, Rosie the Riveter has become a feminist icon, but what is it that makes Rosie so memorable to women in the United States? The purpose of this study is to analyze popular print representations of women during World War I and World War II in the United States using Charles Peirce’s triadic model of semiotics of the representamen, interpretent, and referent. The 55 print images used for this study feature women and their roles in the war, and reflect persuasive strategies used during these time periods. By taking a critical approach and using a liberal feminist lens, I propose five common categories of symbolic representations of women in media such as posters, magazines, and newspapers. These include: (a) women’s submission to stereotypical gender roles; (b) objectification of women to sell goods; (c) presentation of women and femininity as needing saving or reassurance by a strong man; (d) women’s competence and hard work during the wars; and (e) hyper-femininity.

URLhttps://ttu-ir.tdl.org/ttu-ir/handle/2346/73201
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