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Searching for the “Modern Wife” in Prewar Shanghai and Seoul Pictorials

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Chapter Summary

This chapter traces the endeavors of Shanghai and Gyeongseong residents as they searched for the modern dream wife. Liangyou and Samcheolli include illustrations and photographs that try to explain the nature of modernity and advertisements that sold modernity by putting model wives on display. The chapter looks first at common aspects in the images of modern wives in Liangyou and Samcheolli and suggests the reasons for their similarities. It then discusses disparities between the representations and explains them. The historical background and sociopolitical conditions of prewar Shanghai and Gyeongseong are considered in detail, and the members of the editorial boards of the magazines are identified as important actors in the chapter in search of the modern wife. Though there are many relevant images to be found in Liangyou, it is not easy to glean detailed information about the role of modern mothers in Samcheolli, except for a few Ajinomoto advertisements.

Keywords: Ajinomoto advertisements; Gyeongseong; Liangyou; modern dream wife; Samcheolli; Shanghai



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