Postfeminist media culture: Elements of a sensibility.
European Journal of Cultural Studies, 10(2)
The notion of postfeminism has become one of the most important in the lexicon of feminist cultural an alysis. Yet there is little agreement about what postfeminism is. This article argues that postfeminism is best understood as a distinctive sensibility, made up of a number of interrelated themes. These include the notion that femininity is a bodily property; the shift from objectification to subjectification; an emphasis upon self-surveillance, monitoring and self-discipline; a focus on individualism, choice and empowerment; the dominance of a makeover paradigm; and a resurgence of ideas about natural sexual difference. Each of these is explored in some detail, with examples from contemporary Anglo-American media. It is precisely the patterned articulation of these ideas that constitutes a postfeminist sensibility. The article concludes with a discussion of the connection between this sensibility and contemporary neoliberalism.
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