In this book, Nathanson examines how contemporary American television and associated digital media depict women’s everyday lives as homemakers, career women, and mothers. Her focus on American popular culture from the 1990s through the present reveals two extremes: narratives about women who cannot keep house and narratives about women who only keep house. Nathanson looks specifically at the issue of time in this context and argues that the media constructs panics about domestic time scarcity while at the same time offering solutions for those very panics. Analyzing TV programs such as How Clean is Your House, Up All Night, and Supernanny, she finds that media’s portrayals of women’s time is crucial to understanding definitions of femininity, women’s labor, and leisure in the postfeminist context.
Table of Contents
Introduction: No Time for Mother 1. Disordered Homes: Organizing and Cleaning The Domestic Mess 2. It’s Time for Dinner: Cooking and Managing the Rhythms of Everyday Life 3. Multitasking Moms: Childcare, Time Management and Women’s Leisure 4. Knitting, Sewing and Grandma’s Retro-Style: Domestic Crafts and Free Time 5. Monthly Ebbs and Flows: The Labor of Childbirth and the Postfeminist Biological Clock Epilogue
Elizabeth Nathanson is Assistant Professor in the Department of Media and Communication at Muhlenberg College, USA.
"A new, astute, and one can’t help but say timely look at the way women are portrayed in popular culture, particularly contemporary reality television shows about domesticity. This book insightfully draws on a range of contemporary criticism and twenty-first century programming to reveal how time, and women’s relationship to time, serves as a fundamental way to understand women’s current social standing." --Elaine Roth, Indiana University South Bend, USA
"A thought-provoking contribution to debates on postfeminism and lifestyle television." --Rachel Moseley, University of Warwick, UK
"Television and Postfeminist Housekeeping is a welcome addition to the field. The text reveals how television constructs contemporary notions of postfeminist femininity through the production and circulation of narratives based on women’s struggle to manage their domestic, professional, and personal time. The book utilizes interdisciplinary approaches and draws from several different theories to address the thesis, which makes it an excellent read for undergraduate students." --Elizabeth Brennan, The Pennsylvania State University, in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly