Understanding Gender and Sexuality in Popular Culture

(Second Edition)
Edited by Jennifer Maher
©2019, 312 pages

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Understanding Gender and Sexuality in Popular Culture

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Summary
    Understanding Gender and Sexuality in Popular Culture explores key themes and modes of criticism in the fields of gender studies and popular culture. It examines how these themes and modes apply to a variety of texts including film, soap operas, reality television, romance novels, and pornography.

    The book introduces readers to pivotal film and media theory and explores gender and sexuality as contextual, rather than fixed. It focuses on how what is considered to be a biological given is also shaped by particular cultures at particular times, and how this is then reflected in popular culture.

    The chapters address topics such as masculinity and looking, femininity, domesticity, and television, pornography and representation, and the romance novel as “pornography” for women. Students will also consider queer representations in Hollywood, slasher films, and the growing genre of fan fiction.

    Understanding Gender and Sexuality in Popular Culture helps readers enjoy popular culture while developing a new way of “seeing” and critiquing it. The book is an excellent reader for courses on gender and visual culture, popular culture, and gender and sexuality studies.

    Jennifer Maher holds a Ph.D. in English and modern studies from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She is a senior lecturer in the Department of Gender Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington where she teaches the history of feminist thought and practice, contemporary debates in feminist theory, and the gendered politics of assisted reproduction. Her current research focuses on representations of reproductive technology in popular culture. Dr. Maher is also a regular contributor to the magazine Bitch: A Feminist Response to Popular Culture.
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