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This collection of original essays looks at the way in which experiences and representations of femininity are changing, and explores the possibilities for producing 'new' femininities in the twenty-first century. The volume includes a Preface by leading feminist scholar Angela McRobbie.
This collection of original essays looks at the way in which experiences and representations of femininity are changing, and explores the possibilities for producing 'new' femininities in the twenty-first century. The volume includes a Preface by leading feminist scholar Angela McRobbie.
Written in a clear and accessible style, with lots of examples from Anglo-American media, Gender and the Media offers a critical introduction to the study of gender in the media, and an up-to-date assessment of the key issues and debates. Eschewing a straightforwardly positive or negative assessment the book explores the contradictory character of contemporary gender representations, where confident expressions of girl power sit alongside reports of epidemic levels of anorexia among young women, moral panics about the impact on men of idealized representations of the 'six-pack', but near silence about the pervasive re-sexualization of women's bodies, along with a growing use of irony and playfulness that render critique extremely difficult. The book looks in depth at five areas of media - talk shows, magazines, news, advertising, and contemporary screen and paperback romances - to examine how representations of women and men are changing in the twenty-first century, partly in response to feminist, queer and anti-racist critique. Gender and the Media is also concerned with the theoretical tools available for analysing representations. A range of approaches from semiotics to postcolonial theory are discussed, and Gill asks how useful notions such as objectification, backlash, and positive images are for making sense of gender in today's Western media. Finally, Gender and the Media also raises questions about cultural politics - namely, what forms of critique and intervention are effective at a moment when ironic quotation marks seem to protect much media content from criticism and when much media content - from Sex and the City to revenge adverts - can be labelled postfeminist. This is a book that will be of particular interest to students and scholars in gender and media studies, as well as those in sociology and cultural studies more generally.
This volume approaches questions about gender and the politics of appearance from a new perspective by developing the notion of aesthetic labour. Bringing together feminist writing regarding the ‘beauty myth’ with recent scholarship about new forms of work, the book suggests that in this moment of ubiquitous photography, social media, and 360 degree surveillance, women are increasingly required to be 'aesthetic entrepreneurs’, maintaining a constant state of vigilance about their appearance. The collection shows that this work is not just on the surface of bodies, but requires a transformation of subjectivity itself, characterised by notions of personal choice, risk-taking, self-management, and individual responsibility. The book includes analyses of online media, beauty service work, female genital cosmetic surgery, academic fashion, self-help literature and the seduction community, from a range of countries. Discussing beauty politics, postfeminism, neoliberalism, labour and subjectivity, the book will be of interest to scholars and students with an interest in Gender, Media Studies, Cultural Studies, Sociology, Social Psychology and Management Studies. “This highly engaging, smart, and wide-ranging collection analyzes how, under the self-governing mandates of neoliberalism, the demands that girls and women regulate and control their bodies and appearance have escalated to new, unforgiving levels. A special strength of the book is its emphasis on the rise of ‘aesthetic labour’ as a global, transnational and ever-colonizing phenomenon that seeks to sweep up women of all races, ages and locales into its disciplinary grip. Highly recommended.” -Susan J Douglas, University of Michigan, USA the inherited responsibility that remains women’s particular burden to manage.” -Melissa Gregg, Intel Corporation, USA “This book incisively conceptualizes how neo-liberalist and postfeminist tendencies are ramping up pressures for glamour, aesthetic, fashion, and body work in the general public. In a moment when YouTube ‘makeup how to’ videos receive millions of hits; what to wear and how to wear it blogs clock massive followings; and staying ‘on brand’ is sold to us as the key to personal and financial success, ‘aesthetic entrepreneurship’ is bound to become a go-to concept for anyone seeking to understand the profound shifts shaping labor and life in the 21st century.” -Elizabeth Wissinger, City University of New York, USA
In this trenchant inquiry into the state of feminism, Angela McRobbie breaks open the politics of sexual equality and 'affirmative feminism' and sets down a new theory of gender power. Challenging the most basic assumptions of the 'end' of feminism, this book argues that invidious forms of gender re-stabilisation are being re-established. Consumer and popular culture encroach on the terrain of so-called female freedom, appearing supportive of female success, yet tying women into new post-feminist neurotic dependencies. With a scathing critique of 'women's empowerment', McRobbie has developed a distinctive feminist analysis that she uses to examine socio-cultural phenomena embedded in contemporary women's lives: from fashion photography and the television 'make-over' genre to eating disorders, body anxiety and 'illegible rage'. A turning point in feminist theory, The Aftermath of Feminism will set a new agenda for gender studies and cultural studies.
Western feminists have long treated the rule of law as an essential ingredient of social justice; however, as the contributors to this collection remind us, meaningful justice remains out of reach for many women and racialized minorities precisely because the law turns a blind eye to the inequities that structure their daily lives. In fourteen chapters that open vital debates about the erosion of the welfare state and the media's complicity in concealing political injustice, Within the Confines details the brutal ironies of a society that criminalizes the vulnerable while absolving the elite. Distinctive in its focus on Canada, the book traces the linkages among racial, ethnic, sexual, and economic vulnerability and reveals the inadequacies of legislative approaches to socio-historical problems such as drug trafficking, homelessness, infanticide, and the legacies of settler colonial violence. In accessible prose, the authors dismantle the myths behind topics that are often sensationalized in the media--pornography, single motherhood, sex work, filicide, gangs, domestic abuse, prison conditions, HIV nondisclosure--and present alternative arguments that expose the justice system's role in widening the gap between the rich and the poor. What emerges is a poignant challenge to the neoliberal fable that women and minorities in Western democracies now enjoy full equality and an urgent call to action for those who seek to shift institutional norms in more equitable directions. A valuable resource for a wide range of fields, including criminology, sociology, social anthropology, gender studies, political science, social work, and legal history, this multidisciplinary volume offers a fresh perspective on the disturbingly predictable judgments that criminalized women face in Canada.
The relative rise or decline of feminist movements across the globe has been debated by feminist scholars and activists for a long time. In recent years, however, these debates have gained renewed momentum. Rapid technological change and increased use of digital media have raised questions about how digital technologies change, influence, and shape feminist politics. This book interrogates the digital interface of transnational protest movements and local activism in feminist politics. Examining how global feminist politics is articulated at the nexus of the transnational/national, we take contemporary German protest culture as a case study for the manner in which transnational feminist activism intersects with the national configuration of feminist political work. The book explores how movements and actions from outside Germany s borders circulate digitally and resonate differently in new local contexts, and further, how these border-crossings transform grass-roots activism as it goes digital. This book was originally published as a special issue of Feminist Media Studies. "

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