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People, Places and IdentitiesThemes in British Social and Cultural History, 1700s-1980s$
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Alan Kidd and Melanie Tebbutt

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780719090356

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719090356.001.0001

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From ‘marriage bureau’ to ‘points of view’: changing patterns of advice in teenage magazines: Mirabelle, 1956–77

From ‘marriage bureau’ to ‘points of view’: changing patterns of advice in teenage magazines: Mirabelle, 1956–77

(p.180) 8 From ‘marriage bureau’ to ‘points of view’: changing patterns of advice in teenage magazines: Mirabelle, 1956–77
People, Places and Identities

Melanie Tebbutt

Manchester University Press

Melanie Tebbutt’s essay traces some of the changes which transformed working-class culture after the Second World War through an analysis of the personal advice pages of teenage magazines, an important expression of girls’ culture between the mid-1950s and late-1970s. Tebbutt takes as her subject Mirabelle magazine, widely read by girls in this period, although its popularity has been largely over-shadowed by the most popular teenage magazine of the time, which was Jackie. Advice pages in teenage magazines from the 1950s and 1960s have received less attention that those of the later decades of the twentieth-century and Tebbutt traces the changes which took place in queries and answers, from the time of Mirabelle’s publication, in 1956, when its advice column was identified with a marriage bureau in central Manchester, to ceasing production in 1977, by which time discussion of sexual matters, including pregnancy outside marriage, had become more open. Magazines aimed at the teenage market were an important source of sexual information for young people and this essay offers a nuanced analysis of Mirabelle’s advice pages which suggests there is considerable scope for comparative studies.

Keywords:   Teenage magazines, Mirabelle, Advice columns, Working-class culture, Sexual behaviour

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