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Fashion Tales

Feeding the Imaginary

Edited By Emanuela Mora and Marco Pedroni

Since its beginnings in the middle of the 19th century, fashion has been narrated through multiple media, both visual and verbal, and for such different purposes as marketing and advertising, art, costume history, social research and cultural dissemination. In this light, fashion has represented an important piece of material culture in modern industrial urban societies and in postcolonial and non-western contexts. Today, we are witnessing a turn in this imaginary as issues related to social, environmental and cultural sustainability come to predominate in many areas of human activity.
The book addresses this challenge. By facilitating encounters between disciplines and cultures, it explores a multitude of fashion issues, practices and views that feed the contemporary fashion imaginary: local cultures, linguistic codes, TV series, movies, magazines, ads, blogs, bodily practices. The book deals with a paramount issue for fashion studies: how do the production and circulation of fashion imaginary come about in the 21st century?

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Television clothing commercials for tweens in transition: A comparative analysis in Italy and Spain (Gevisa La Rocca / Maddalena Fedele)

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Gevisa La Rocca and Maddalena Fedele

Television clothing commercials for tweens in transition: A comparative analysis in Italy and Spain

Introduction

The history of tweens tells us that until the 1960s the word did not even exist (La Rocca 2012). In one of the first books devoted to these young consumers, Gilbert (1957) used the category and the word subteen to indicate an age group between ten and thirteen years old. To encounter the word tween we have to wait until 1987, when it appeared in an article by Hall in the journal Marketing and Media Decision. In fact, if it is true that childhood has been considered a sales sector since the postwar years, it was only during the 1990s that boys and girls aged between nine and fifteen became consumer targets (La Rocca 2013a).

Siegel et al. (2004) in their book claim that a tween is easier to define as a feeling than as a precise age group. To them tweens are aged between nine and twelve years old. The term ‘tweens’ commonly indicates boys and girls who are ‘in the middle’ between children and teenagers. They have therefore a ‘double personality’ which alternates the behaviours and the attitudes of both the former and the latter.

A tween cannot be understood if we do not consider the childhood market and the allied industries which move around it. Appearing after the Second World War, tweens can be identified—­first...

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