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Introduction

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by

Cécile Armand

on 23 June 2014

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Transcript of Introduction

"Grips" / "catchers"
Grip/Catcher : issue or pattern usually associated with the Modern Girl and which can apply to the Modern Child as well.
"
Connective comparison"
and
"multidirectional citation"

between Chinese and American advertising
(Weinbaum ed, 2008 : 1-24)
A
transcultural
perspective to examine the
global-local
aspects of the Modern Girl/Child phenomenon and modern advertising in general.

Inspired by the Modern Girl Research Group
(Weinbaum ed., 2008: 1-24)
and based on three main observations:
Samples
for case studies
Starting from
body-care
and
domestic

products
which are straightforwardly concerned with women and children, then broadening the scope to include various types of products - less directly related or even antithetic to women and children.
Printed advertising
Mostly
press advertisements
for reasons of
preservation
and
availability
and for allowing
comparisons
between US-China :
Research Questions & Methodology
Materials - Sources
Skins beneath the surface:

Newspapers
in Shanghai (
Shenbao
) and the USA (
New York Times, Saturday Evening Post
)

Popular
magazines
:
Funu zazhi
and
Liangyou
in China,
Ladies' Home Journal
and
Youth Companion
in the USA.
The three layers of the Modern Child advertising "skin"
From the surface to the depths
1st layer - Representations
of the Modern Child
2nd layer -
The
machinery
of advertising

3rd layer -
The
actual
Modern Child ?
CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
METHODOLODY
TOOLS
ANATOMY OF THE DEMONSTRATION
The transcultural depths of the Modern Child's bodily appearances
in 1920-1930s American and Chinese advertising

On the
US side,
materials primarily comes from the
J. Walter Thompson Collection
hosted by the John Hartman Center, Duke University, Durham, NC (http://library.duke.edu/rubenstein/hartman/)
On the
Chinese side,
a
random selection
of advertisements from the Shanghai press. 3 main sources : online database (Virtual Shanghai, Common People and the Artists) ; printed materials hold at the Academia Sinica, Modern History Library, scholars' publications and papers.
A double bias
: at this stage of my research, the US side is far better documented than the Chinese, both in terms of the quantity as well as the quality of the materials collected
(no archives from Chinese companies to document the making of advertising).
Archives - Collections
Sources
VISUAL PATHS
Specific devices for visual comparisons
The DNA model for single comparisons
The
four-quarter dial
model for double comparisons
AMG
CMG
AMC
CMC
Modern Girl/Child dividing line
America/China dividing line
AMG : American Modern Girl
AMC : American Modern Child
CMG : Chinese Modern Girl
CMC : Chinese Modern Child


The
focus on the interwar years (1920-1930s
) should not prevent us from venturing upstream / downstream - especially to highlight the
central role of wars

in the emergence and transformations of
the Modern Child/Girl's phenomenon
(Cells - pearls - bubbles)
The main challenge for historians:
decoding the
DNA Code

to reveal the social-cultural meanings
and historical depths of advertising
http://prezi.com/mam-zyshigyt/edit/#1_24309637
The
clock
model

for temporal analysis
(change/continuity, short/long, fast/slow)
(global-national-local)
The
compass model
for spatial analysis
1900
1950
1920-1930
Global
Local
National
National
1920-1930
Change
Continuity
Fast/minor
Slow/major
Short-term
Long-term
Reverse process, revival ?
?
?
National-local adaptations/differentiations of global-national trends
National-local influences on global-national trends
?
Several "grips" have been identified in an attempt to catch the
convergences-divergences
between the Modern Child/Girl and between America and China : healthy-hygienic bodies, modernity, nationalism-patriotism, racialization, commodification/agency...
Social prejudices
Scholarly
assumptions
Historical facts
The Modern Child as a "heuristic device"
Women and children
as the "voiceless"
Deprived of written materials offering direct access to their experiences and feelings,
how to write their histories?
"Natural" and close relationship between children and women as mothers
Women
=
the weaker sex
Children
=
the weaker age
Simultaneous emergence of a
market
(commodities) and a
commercial visual culture
(images) surrounding children and women
in the 1920-1930s
Women and children both viewed as
symbol and agent
of
modernity

embodying its
opportunities
as well as
contradictions
(Mittler, 2004: 219)
Full transcript