Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Angela McRobbie – "Post Feminism and Popular Culture" – summary and review

In "Post Feminism and Popular Culture" (Feminist Media Studies 4, 2004) feminist cultural researcher Angela McRobbie argues that popular culture during the 9o's is characterized by a set back from the achievements of the feminist movement. For McRobbie, contemporary popular culture expresses what has been termed "post feminism".

When relating to post feminism in the context of popular culture McRobbie denies the view on post feminism as a conservative reaction to the achievements of feminism. For McRobbie, post feminism as it is expressed in popular culture relies on the achievements of feminism. Post feminism views these achievements as socially and culturally "obvious". This allows popular culture to portray female characters which lead an independent, equal and free lifestyle (a good recent example is of course "Sex and the City").  However, these independent women, like in Sex and the City, are not abiding according to McRobbie to the principles of feminism and they do not associate themselves with the movement and its goals, therefore not contributing to its political power. Some of these popular culture depictions of modern women use their freedom to chose in adopting female behavioral patterns which feminism tried to abolish.

The second part of Angela McRobbie's "Post Feminism and Popular Culture" uses her critical agenda in analyzing the film "The Bridget Jones Diary" in a manner that illustrates her argument that post feminism is shaping the way women are portrayed in recent popular culture.

suggested reading:
The Aftermath of Feminism: Gender, Culture and Social Change (Culture, Representation and Identity series)Feminism and Youth Culture: Second EditionFeminism and Pop Culture: Seal StudiesFeminism, Femininity and Popular Culture