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Media-tions: Forays Into the Culture and Gender Wars

Alexander, Susan

Feminist Teacher, Vol.9(2), p.93 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

Fall 1995

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  • Title:
    Media-tions: Forays Into the Culture and Gender Wars
  • Author: Alexander, Susan
  • Description: Rapping believes the "backlash model" offered by theorists such as Susan Faludi "assumes an ahistoric, one-dimensional, either/or, them/us, then/now playing field" (9). Rapping is also dissatisfied with the move by the academic Left toward textual analysis "rather than activist politics" (14). Such a move has meant ignoring social, economic, and political forces which shape the media. By drawing upon a wider range of popular culture than American films, by analyzing a twenty-year historical period, and by considering the role of social, economic, and political institutions in constructing the representation of feminism in popular culture, Rapping provides convincing evidence that the media is not a unified force determined to squelch or distort all feminist messages. Instead, feminism has been instrumental in changing specific sites in the mass media so that feminist issues have become part of the ordinary dialogue. The essays in this volume are arranged according to six general categories: "Hollywood's Women," "Hollywood's Families," "Hollywood's Men," "Gender on Television," "Lifestyles, Trends, and Trash," and "Contested Feminism." Within each of these general categories are several essays covering a wide range of interrelated topics. On the down side, there were a number of occasions when a deeper analysis of larger cultural, social, economic, or political forces shaping these topics would have been helpful, specifically in the essays "Lesbian Interventions," "Rich White Men of Fiction," and "The Politics of Soap Opera." Rapping also included essays that only marginally connected to the overall thesis of the book - "American " discussing Kitty Dukakis' autobiography and "Tennessee Williams" describing Williams' feminist perspective" (136).
  • Is Part Of: Feminist Teacher, Vol.9(2), p.93
  • Publication Date: Fall 1995
  • Publisher: Feminist Teacher Editorial Collective
  • Identifier: ISSN: 08824843 ; E-ISSN: 19346034
  • Subjects: Idaho ; Cher ; Cape Fear ; Hunter, Holly ; De Niro, Robert ; Faludi, Susan C ; Allen, Woody ; African Americans ; Black Literature ; Civil Rights ; Essays ; Human Relations ; Interpersonal Communication ; Jews ; Literature ; Nonfiction ; Personal Relationships ; Women ; Womens Rights Movement ; Politics ; Mass Media ; Playing ; Culture ; Television ; Text Analysis ; Topics ; Fiction ; Films ; Feminism ; Guardian ; South End Press ; Womens Review of Books
  • Language: English

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