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How do we understand glamour? Has it empowered women or turned them into objects? Once associated with modernity and the cutting edge, is it entirely bound up with nostalgia and tradition? This unique and fascinating book tells the story of glamour. It explores the changing meanings of the word, its relationship to femininity and fashion, and its place in twentieth century social history. Using a rich variety of sources - from women's magazines and film to social surveys and life histories - Carol Dyhouse examines with wit and insight the history and meaning of costume, cosmetics, perfume and fur. Dyhouse disentangles some of the arguments surrounding femininity, appearance and power, directly addressing feminist concerns. The book explores historical contexts in which glamour served as an expression of desire in women and an assertion of entitlement to the pleasures of affluence, finally arguing that glamour can't simply be dismissed as oppressive, or as male fantasy, but can carry celebratory meanings for women.
In this lavishly illustrated book, author Carol Dyhouse surveys the world of glamour from early Hollywood right up to Madonna. She deftly unpacks the ever-changing nature of the word, its relationship to femininity and fashion, and its place in twentieth century social history. With wit and insight, Dyhouse conducts a dazzling tour of the history and meaning of costume, cosmetics, perfume, and fur; and disentangles some of the arguments surrounding femininity, appearance and power; and directly addresses feminist concerns. As Dyhouse shows with style and flair, glamour as an expression of desire and entitlement in women can’t simply be dismissed as an oppressive, or subjective male fantasy, but carries celebratory and liberating meanings for women.
In this lavishly illustrated book, author Carol Dyhouse surveys the world of glamour from early Hollywood right up to Madonna. She deftly unpacks the ever-changing nature of the word, its relationship to femininity and fashion, and its place in twentieth century social history. With wit and insight, Dyhouse conducts a dazzling tour of the history and meaning of costume, cosmetics, perfume, and fur; and disentangles some of the arguments surrounding femininity, appearance and power; and directly addresses feminist concerns. As Dyhouse shows with style and flair, glamour as an expression of desire and entitlement in women can’t simply be dismissed as an oppressive, or subjective male fantasy, but carries celebratory and liberating meanings for women.
What can a cultural history of the heartthrob teach us about women, desire, and social change? From dreams of Prince Charming or dashing military heroes, to the lure of dark strangers and vampire lovers; from rock stars and rebels to soulmates, dependable family types or simply good companions, female fantasies about men tell us as much about the history of women as about masculine icons. When girls were supposed to be shrinking violets, passionate females risked being seen as "unbridled," or dangerously out of control. Change came slowly, and young women remained trapped in double-binds. You may have needed a husband in order to survive, but you had to avoid looking like a gold-digger. Sexual desire could be dangerous: a rash guide to making choices. Show attraction too openly and you might be judged "fast" and undesirable. Education and wage-earning brought independence and a widening of cultural horizons. Young women in the early twentieth century showed a sustained appetite for novel-reading, cinema-going, and the dancehall. They sighed over Rudolph Valentino's screen performances, as tango-dancer, Arab tribesman, or desert lover. Contemporary critics were sniffy about "shop-girl" taste in literature and in men, but as consumers, girls had new clout. In Heartthrobs, social and cultural historian Carole Dyhouse draws upon literature, cinema, and popular romance to show how the changing position of women has shaped their dreams about men, from Lord Byron in the early nineteenth century to boy-bands in the early twenty-first. Reflecting on the history of women as consumers and on the nature of fantasy, escapism, and "fandom," she takes us deep into the world of gender and the imagination. A great deal of feminist literature has shown women as objects of the "male gaze": this book looks at men through the eyes of women.
'A brilliant cultural history.' Irish Examiner Girls behave badly. If they're not obscenity-shouting, pint-swigging ladettes, they're narcissistic, living dolls floating around in a cloud of self-obsession, far too busy twerking to care. And this is news. In this witty and wonderful book, Carol Dyhouse shows that where there's a social scandal or a wave of moral outrage, you can bet a girl is to blame. Whether it be stories of 'brazen flappers' staying out and up all night in the 1920s, inappropriate places for Mars bars in the 1960s or Courtney Love's mere existence in the 1990s, bad girls have been a mass-media staple for more than a century. And yet, despite the continued obsession with their perceived faults and blatant disobedience, girls are infinitely better off today than they were a century ago. This is the story of the challenges and opportunities faced by young women growing up in the swirl of the twentieth century, and the pop-hysteria that continues to accompany their progress.
Deriving from the 20th Anniversary Women’s History Network Conference entitled ’20 Years of the Women’s History Network: Looking Back – Looking Forward’, this volume reflects on the state of women’s and gender history as well as showcasing the diversity of the current field. The range of contributions is broad and stimulating, covering such themes as transnational movements, gender and space, sexualities, motherhood, and women in politics. Together, the interdisciplinary chapters reflect the rich diversity of current women’s history and historiography, and will offer important insight to students and scholars researching the past, present and future of feminist studies. This book was originally published as a special issue of Women’s History Review.
Miriam David celebrates the achievements of international feminists as activists and scholars and provides a critique of the expansion of global higher education masking their pioneering zeal and zest for knowledge.

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