Feminism and the Politics of Resilience
Essays on Gender, Media and the End of Welfare
In this short and provocative book, cultural studies scholar Angela McRobbie develops a much-needed feminist account of neoliberalism. Highlighting the ways in which popular culture and the media actively produce and sustain the cultural imaginary for social polarization, she shows how there is substantial pressure on women not just to be employed, but to prioritize working life. She fiercely challenges the media gatekeepers who shape contemporary womanhood by means of exposure and public shaming, and pays particular attention to the endemic nature of anti-welfarism as it is addressed to women, thereby reducing the scope for feminist solidarity.
In this theoretically rich and deep analysis of current cultural processes, McRobbie introduces a series of concepts including 'visual media governmentality' and the urging of women into work as 'contraceptive employment'. Foregrounding a triage of ideas as the 'perfect-imperfect-resilience' McRobbie conveys some of the key means by which consumer capitalism attempts to manage the threats posed by the new feminisms. She proposes that 'resilience' emerges as a compromise, as hard-edged neoliberalism proffers the option of a return to liberal feminism.
A lively and devastating critique, <i>Feminism and the Politics of Resilience</i> offers a much-needed wake-up call. It is essential reading for students and scholars of cultural studies, media, sociology, and women's and gender studies.