Postfeminism in Context
Women, Australian Popular Culture, and the Unsettling of Postfeminism
Postfeminism in Context studies the representation of women in Australian popular culture over the past three decades to locate postfeminism in a specific time and place.
Margaret Henderson and Anthea Taylor argue that ‘postfeminism’, as a critical term, has been too often deployed in ways that fail to account for historical and cultural specificity. This book analyses Australian popular culture – chick lit novels; ‘dramedy’ television shows; women’s magazines; YouTube beauty vlogs; self-help manuals; and newspapers – to reveal the tensions, contradictions and ambiguities that have always been constitutive of postfeminism, including in Australia. Examining how these popular forms intervene in dominant conversations about contemporary Australian femininities, Postfeminism in Context maps the ways in which various aspects of Australia’s history and national identity have shaped its postfeminism. While Henderson and Taylor identify some of the limited postfeminist tropes and patterns of representation evident in comparable locales, they also find that Australian popular culture has responded to feminism in a much more hopeful way.
Adding some much-needed cultural specificity to the ongoing debate around this loaded term, Postfeminism in Context is essential reading for those interested in Australian popular culture, feminism, and the gendered politics of representation.
Table of Contents
Postfeminism In and Out of Context
Chick Lit: Novels of Postfeminist Independence and Aspiration
Television Dramedies: Refiguring Gendered Intimacy and Postfeminist Kinship on the Small Screen
Women’s Magazines: Dreamscapes of Postfeminist Abundance
YouTube beauty vlogs: Intimate publics and postfeminist confidence and care
Self-Help Books: Calculating Magic as Postfeminist Everyday Philosophy
Political Journalism: Women leaders, Constrained Power, and the Rhetoric of Post Gender
Australian Postfeminism as Popular Feminism
Margaret Henderson lectures in literary studies at the University of Queensland. She has published extensively on feminist culture and contemporary women’s writing, including a book-length study of Australian feminist cultural memory, Marking Feminist Times.
Anthea Taylor is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney. She is author of three books in feminist literary and cultural studies, including Celebrity and the Feminist Blockbuster.