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The Aftermath of Feminism

It is widely assumed that, with gender issues now being 'mainstreamed' in cultural and social life, the 'achievement' of women is ensured and the moment of feminism has passed. In this trenchant inquiry into the aftermath of feminism, Angela McRobbie reflects on a range of issues which have political consequences for women, challenging these most basic assumptions of the 'end' of feminism. She argues that it is precisely on these grounds 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. Young women are invited to gain independence through work and careers, and are granted some degree of sexual freedom in leisure and consumer culture, in exchange for the abandonment of a re-invented feminism and a new sexual political imaginary.Drawing on a wealth of material from film, television, art and popular culture, these six chapters span a wide range of topics, including " the UK government's 'new sexual contract' to young women " popular TV makeover programmes " the fashion photograph as gender melancholia " feminist theories of backlash and the 'undoing' of sexual politics " the 'illegible rage' underlying contemporary femininities " diaspora pedagogy and the feminist academy as a 'contact zone'
Product Details

Table of Contents

Post Feminism and Popular Culture; Bridget Jones and the New Gender Regime Feminism Undone? The Cultural Politics of Disarticulation Top Girls? Young Women and the New Sexual Contract Illegible Rage: Post-Feminist Disorders. What Not to Wear; Post-Feminist Symbolic Violence Conclusion; Inside and Outside the Feminist Academy

About the Author

Angela McRobbie is Professor of Communications at Goldsmiths College, London, and her recent books include: British Fashion Design (Routledge, 1998), In the Culture Society, (Routledge, 1999), and Feminism and Youth Culture: Second Edition (Palgrave, 2000)


To those feminists who assumed that women's increased labor force participation and a handful of legal victories would, perhaps, engender a continuing commitment to socialist-feminist values, The Aftermath of Feminism is a sobering wake-up call. McRobbie's various references to films, television, magazines, and popular culture are not simply a stroll down a post-feminist lane; rather, these texts help illuminate the forms of gender power which help produce and reproduce women's continued domination and subordination. The book is an assault on 'gender mainstreaming', or the idea that, though feminism may have lost popularity as a public protest movement, it is alive and well 'behind the scenes' in the 'practical world of women's issues'. Read the full review here. -- International Journal of Communication Angela McRobbie is one of the most prolific and inspiring feminist theorists in the wide field of cultural and media studies... the compilation of these essays in one volume brilliantly shows the consistency in McRobbie's analysis of gender in widely different contemporary cultural products and discourses. -- Liesbet van Zoonen The inter-disciplinary nature of McRobbie's account is one of its strengths, drawing as it does on psychoanalysis, feminist sociology and cultural studies to provide a powerful breadth of analysis... for a thought-provoking and articulate analysis of what is left for feminism - and what has been lost - this book is excellent. -- Psychology of Women Review Angela McRobbie has written a courageous and much-needed book, exploring the after-effects of the shift to neoliberalism in which young women today can appear to have everything they wanted, presented in an array of choice and empowerment. She interrogates its dark underbelly and exposes the huge losses for women that ensue. -- Sociology McRobbie has produced a landmark text. She argues for a form of feminism that is aware of the contemporary complexities of global media culture while still attentive to political questions of identity, engagement and justice. The Afternath of Feminism is highly sophisticated and theoretically informed, yet also readable and inspiring. It is essential reading for anyone interested in contemporary cultural politics. -- Claire Colebrook McRobbie has written a profound and profoundly disturbing analysis of the state of feminism in contemporary Britain. Weaving together analyses of culture, economics, politics and everyday life, this is a superb demonstration of why cultural studies matters, and of why McRobbie remains one of its most original and important contributors. This book will enlighten you, anger you, inspire you, and force you to ask new questions - I can't ask for anything more from a book. -- Larry Grossberg

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