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    Title: Neoliberal Governance and Popular Postfeminism in Contemporary Anglo-American Chick Lit
    Authors: 陳音頤
    Chen, Eva Yin-i
    Contributors: 英文系
    Keywords: chick lit, neoliberal self-governance, capitalist consumerism, popular postfeminism
    Date: 2010-03
    Issue Date: 2018-03-27 16:56:18 (UTC+8)
    Abstract: Contemporary Anglo-American chick lit predicates its difference from traditional romance on the sexual agency and consumerist choice of its female characters and on its celebrated glamorous, materialistic and cosmopolitan lifestyle. Its recurrent themes include a shift from female sexual objectification to empowerment and subjectification, an emphasis on individual agency and bodily self-surveillance, and a celebration of consumption that erases the boundary between consumer and entrepreneur. This paper argues for the importance of the genre's distinct spatio-temporal anchoring in the Anglo-American metropolises of the 1990s and of the consequent predominance of a neoliberal ideology, one that has moved beyond the economic dimension of maximized profit-making into the socio-cultural domain of subject formation. In place of direct disciplinary power from the state, such a neoliberal form of governance interpellates the individual as the actively choosing and self-responsible consumer/entrepreneur who is motivated by economic self-interest and risk-calculation, and who freely and willingly engages in a ceaseless project of self-making and self-governance. As reflected in the Anglo-American chick lit, such neoliberal ideas, working in tandem with the spread of global capitalism around the world, are responsible for a new type of subjectification and characterization, the construction of a new kind of women characters constituted as agentive and active but also immanent in and responsive to normative power. In the light of this changed form of governance and subjectification, this paper seeks to point out that the feminist criticism of chick lit as backlash, retrosexism or as commodification needs to reground its critique. It also points out that though the chick lit touts a new paradigm of liberated, actively desiring femininity ostensibly miles apart from the traditional femininity of passivity and chastity, such an emancipation, seemingly tolerant of multiplicity and agency, leads only to a new hegemony and coercion, and reinforces, rather than challenges, the patriarchal status quo.
    Relation: Concentric, Vol.36, No.1, pp.243-275
    Data Type: article
    Appears in Collections:[英國語文學系] 期刊論文

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