Popular Culture, Political Economy and the Death of Feminism: Why women are in refrigerators and other stories, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Popular Culture, Political Economy and the Death of Feminism

Why women are in refrigerators and other stories, 1st Edition

By Penny Griffin


242 pages | 25 B/W Illus.

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While some have argued that we live in a ‘postfeminist’ era that renders feminism irrelevant to people’s contemporary lives this book takes ‘feminism’, the source of eternal debate, contestation and ambivalence, and situates the term within the popular, cultural practices of everyday life. It explores the intimate connections between the politics of feminism and the representational practices of contemporary popular culture, examining how feminism is ‘made sensible’ through visual imagery and popular culture representations. It investigates how popular culture is produced, represented and consumed to reproduce the conditions in which feminism is valued or dismissed, and asks whether antifeminism exists in commodity form and is commercially viable.

Written in an accessible style and analysing a broad range of popular culture artefacts (including commercial advertising, printed and digital news-related journalism and commentary, music, film, television programming, websites and social media), this book will be of use to students, researchers and practitioners of International Relations, International Political Economy and gender, cultural and media studies.


'Why is it so hard to come out as a feminist? In this innovative deployment of feminist curiosity Penny Griffin links together the supposedly disparate realms of international political economy and popular culture, showing how they work hard to make "anti-feminism" the new normal.' - Terrell Carver, University of Bristol, UK

'Violence and male heroes are omnipresent in popular culture. In this innovative and important new book Penny Griffin reveals how they are part of much deeper entrenched and highly problematic gender stereotypes that shape both our identities and our politics.' - Roland Bleiker, Professor of International Relations, University of Queensland

'This is a book brimming with curiosity about the intricate connections between feminism, popular culture and IPE. Griffin has taken the time to weave an accessible and lively path between the ‘popular’ and the ‘academic’. Highly illuminating and energising.' - Professor Marysia Zalewski, School of Social Science, University of Aberdeen, Scotland

"Her research into anti-feminism and popular culture provides readers with a strong insight into the ‘vibrant yet fragmented’ nature of feminism today and with hope about its future. In this sense, another triumph of Griffin’s book is its resistance to normative understandings of social media as being a place for narcissistic millennials. I would like to see more written about the relationship between feminism and social media, perhaps with a stronger emphasis on its ability to carve out spaces for resistance online."

- Amelia Morris, University of Birmingham, UK

Table of Contents

1. Introductions, 2. Analysing Popular Culture, 3. Popular Culture, Produced, Represented and Consumed, 4. Feminism(s), feminists and The (enduring) "Popularity Gap", 5. In Popular Form (Feminism And Antifeminism IN Popular Culture) 6. Conclusions, The Trouble with IPE

About the Author

Penny Griffin is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Research in the School of Social Sciences and International Studies, University of New South Wales, Australia.

About the Series

Popular Culture and World Politics

The Popular Culture World Politics (PCWP) book series is the forum for leading interdisciplinary research that explores the profound and diverse interconnections between popular culture and world politics. It aims to bring further innovation, rigor, and recognition to this emerging sub-field of international relations.

To these ends, the PCWP series is interested in various themes, from the juxtaposition of cultural artefacts that are increasingly global in scope and regional, local and domestic forms of production, distribution and consumption; to the confrontations between cultural life and global political, social, and economic forces; to the new or emergent forms of politics that result from the rescaling or internationalization of popular culture.

Similarly, the PCWP series wishes to provide a venue for work that explores the effects of new technologies and new media on established practices of representation and the making of political meaning. It encourages engagement with popular culture as a means for contesting powerful narratives of particular events and political settlements as well as explorations of the ways that popular culture informs mainstream political discourse. The PCWP series promotes investigation into how popular culture contributes to changing perceptions of time, space, scale, identity, and participation while establishing the outer limits of what is popularly understood as ‘political’ or ‘cultural’.

In addition to film, television, literature, and art, the PCWP series actively encourages research into diverse artefacts including sound, music, food cultures, gaming, design, architecture, programming, leisure, sport, fandom and celebrity. The series is fiercely pluralist in its approaches to the study of popular culture and world politics and is interested in the past, present, and future cultural dimensions of hegemony, resistance and power.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies