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The imagined space between us: A look motivational research and its effects on advertising and how MR cultivated gendered visions in postwar America
Purcell, Edward J.
Ben, PabloQuintanilla, Felipe
This thesis investigates gendered spaces through the medium of advertising in postwar America. These gendered roles encouraged ad agencies to find ways to market products to men and women separately. In the backdrop of a burgeoning economy and a culture that celebrated traditional gendered roles, a growing fascination with psychology for everyday use was unfolding. American advertising industries looked to psychology to answer the biggest questions of the postwar era. One such question was: why do consumers buy? The implications of their psychological research on consumer motivations required MR experts to gender the markets. This thesis argues that MR redefined concepts of masculinity and femininity and connected these ideals to space through visual imagery of suburban America. These advertisements gendered suburban spaces, selling activities and new motives based on a lifestyle that they imagined as they projected it onto an emerging mass suburbia. These gendered spaces became the setting in which advertisements could market new products and activities. It was through MR that the marketing experts tailored products for specific types of men and women. The purpose of this essay is to examine the consequences of motivational research and its role in shaping the gender roles in postwar America.
Arts and Letters
Master of Arts (M.A.) San Diego State University, 2018
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