Selling new identity and lifestyle to Japanese Women during the era of Mass-Auto-Mobilization

  • Olga Khomenko London University, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), UK


This paper examines advertising of automobiles in women‘s magazines as an example of the realization of gender stereotypes in Japanese society (1955-1970). Research based on a visual and textual analysis of car advertising, which provide a broad look at the messages used to reach women consumers about liberation and new lifestyles, as well as her position in society. The gender stereotypes depicted in car advertising also provide a glimpse what Japanese society regarded as appropriate role for the women during this time. Following the transition of women‘s images from the beautiful car model, which only emphasizes cars beauty, to the passenger next to the male-driver and toward the driver seat and car ownership, we conclude that cars ads not only reflected dramatic economic and social changes that occurs in Japanese society during post-war period, but also helped to shape a new set of values in Japanese woman, introduced a new lifestyle, as well as gave them unique opportunity to complete their identity and illuminate the difference between "real self" and "ideal imaginary self".


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