Difficult Women on Television Drama : The Gender Politics Of Complex Women In Serial Narratives book cover
1st Edition

Difficult Women on Television Drama
The Gender Politics Of Complex Women In Serial Narratives

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after February 15, 2021
ISBN 9780367468675
February 15, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
248 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Difficult Women on Television Drama analyses select case studies from international TV dramas to examine the unresolved feminist issues they raise or address: equal labor force participation, the demand for sexual pleasure and freedom, opposition to sexual and domestic violence, and the need for intersectional approaches.

Drawing on examples from The Killing, Orange is the New Black, Big Little Lies, Wentworth, Outlander, Westworld, Being Mary Jane, Queen Sugar, Vida, and other television dramas with a focus on complex female characters, this book illustrates how female creative control in key production roles (direct authorship) together with industrial imperatives and a conducive cultural context (indirect authorship) are necessary to produce feminist texts. Placed within the larger context of a rise in feminist activism and political participation by women; the growing embrace of a feminist identity; and the ascendance of post-feminism, this book reconsiders the unfinished nature of feminist struggle(s) and suggests the need for a broader sweep of economic change.

This book is a must-read for scholars of media and communication studies; television and film studies; cultural studies; American studies; sociology of gender and sexualities; women and gender studies; and international film, media and cinema studies.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables


1. The Rise of Difficult Women in Serial Narrative Television Drama (2005-2020)

2. Economic Inequality and the Working Mother: The Killing in Denmark and the U.S.

3. Female Sexual Pleasure and Freedom: Outlander and Westworld

4.Violence Against Women and Women Who Kill: Big Little Lies, Orange is the New Black, and Wentworth

5. Intersectionality: Beyond the White Female Subject

6. Conclusion



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Isabel Pinedo is an Associate Professor in the Department of Film & Media at Hunter College, CUNY.