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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 volume brings together twenty original essays on the changes and continuities in gender relations and intersecting politics of sexuality, race, class and location. The book is located in debates about contemporary culture at a moment of rapid technological change, global interconnectedness and the growing cultural dominance of neoliberalism and postfeminism. The collection traverses disciplines, spaces and approaches. It is marked by an extraordinarily wide focus, ranging from analyses of celebrity magazines and makeover shows to examinations of the experiences of young female migrants, 'mail order brides' and young women who repudiate feminism. The contributions are united by their attempts to think through the ways in which experiences and representations of femininity are changing in the twenty-first century. Are we seeing new femininities? Are neoliberalism and postfeminism constructing new identities and subjectivities? What kinds of analytic tools and cultural politics are needed to critically engage with the current moment? This book will be of interest to everyone studying gender, media or cultural studies.
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 book critically assessesthird-wave feminist strategies for advancing a feminist 'politics of the self' within the late modern, postfeminist gender order – a context where gender equality has been mainstreamed, feminism has been dismissed, and a neoliberal culture of self-management has become firmly entrenched.
Winner of the 2015 FWSA Book Prize The body is a site of impassioned, fraught and complex debate in the West today. In one political moment, left-wingers, academics and feminists have defended powerful men accused of sex crimes, positioned topless pictures in the tabloids as empowering, and opposed them for sexualizing breasts and undermining their ?natural? function. At the same time they have been criticized by extreme-right groups for ignoring honour killings and other ?culture-based? forms of violence against women. How can we make sense of this varied terrain? In this important and challenging new book, Alison Phipps constructs a political sociology of women?s bodies around key debates: sexual violence, gender and Islam, sex work and motherhood. Her analysis uncovers dubious rhetorics and paradoxical allegiances, and contextualizes these within the powerful coalition of neoliberal and neoconservative frameworks. She explores how ?feminism? can be caricatured and vilified at both ends of the political spectrum, arguing that Western feminisms are now faced with complex problems of positioning in a world where gender often comes second to other political priorities. This book provides a welcome investigation into Western politics around women?s bodies, and will be particularly useful to scholars and upper-level students of sociology, political science, gender studies and cultural studies, as well as to anyone interested in how bodies become politicized.

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