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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
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.
Melvin Burgess has made a powerful name for himself in the world of children's and young adult literature, emerging in the 1990s as the author of over twenty critically acclaimed novels. This collection of original essays by a team of established and new scholars introduces readers to the key debates surrounding Burgess's most challenging work, including controversial young adult novels Junk and Doing It. Covering a variety of critical and theoretical perspectives, the volume also presents exciting new readings of some of his less familiar fiction for children, and features an interview with the author.
Key cultural shifts have enabled a "new sexualization" of women. Neoliberal, consumerist, and postfeminist media culture have shaped ways of understanding female sexuality, embodied by the figure of the choosing, empowered, entrepreneurial consumer citizen-woman, whose economic capital determines feminine success (and failure). Informed by older constructs of privilege such as class, sexuality, race and (dis)ability, this version of sexiness also constrains by folding contemporary femininity back into previous panics about youth, excess, "bad" consumption, and appropriate feminine behavior In Technologies of Sexiness, Adrienne Evans and Sarah Riley identify how current understandings of sexiness in public life and academic discourse have produced a "doubled stagnation," cycling around old debates without forward momentum. Developing a theoretical and methodological framework, they expand on the notion of a "technology of sexiness." They ask what happens and what is lost when people make sense of themselves within the complexities and contradictions of consumer-oriented constructs of sexiness. How do these discourses come to "transform the self"? This book provides a framework for understanding how women make sense of their sexual identities in the context of a feminization of sexual consumerism. The authors analyze material collected with two groups of women: the "pleasure pursuers" and "functioning feminists," who broadly occupy positions across the pre- and post-Thatcher eras, and the changes brought about by the feminist movement. As one of the first book-length empirical studies to explore age-related femininities in the context of what "sexiness" means today, the authors develop a series of insights into various "technologies of the self" through analyses of space, nostalgia, and claims to authentic sexiness.

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