Gendering the Recession

Media and Culture in an Age of Austerity

Gendering the Recession

Book Pages: 320 Illustrations: 24 photographs Published: March 2014

Cultural Studies, Gender and Sexuality > Feminism and Women’s Studies, Media Studies > TV

This timely, necessary collection of essays provides feminist analyses of a recession-era media culture characterized by the reemergence and refashioning of familiar gender tropes, including crisis masculinity, coping women, and postfeminist self-renewal. Interpreting media forms as diverse as reality television, financial journalism, novels, lifestyle blogs, popular cinema, and advertising, the contributors reveal gendered narratives that recur across media forms too often considered in isolation from one another. They also show how, with a few notable exceptions, recession-era popular culture promotes affective normalcy and transformative individual enterprise under duress while avoiding meaningful critique of the privileged white male or the destructive aspects of Western capitalism. By acknowledging the contradictions between political rhetoric and popular culture, and between diverse screen fantasies and lived realities, Gendering the Recession helps to make sense of our postboom cultural moment.

Contributors. Sarah Banet-Weiser, Hamilton Carroll, Hannah Hamad, Anikó Imre, Suzanne Leonard, Isabel Molina-Guzmán, Sinéad Molony, Elizabeth Nathanson, Diane Negra, Tim Snelson, Yvonne Tasker, Pamela Thoma


“The new anthology Gendering the Recession offers a look at the marked resurgence of gender roles, assumptions, and imperatives that characterized this time, with smart analyses of how gender impacted branding and marketing…. The essays are united in their well-stated indictment of journalistic rhetoric that infantilizes the underemployed, particularly those who are male. While the timespan and subject matter covered by Gendering the Recession is severe and bleak, the writing here is far from it.”
— Joshunda Sanders, Bitch

" . . . the book, with its feminist analyses of a recession-era media culture, will be particularly useful to students and faculty interested in the sociology of media, gender studies, women's studies, and communication . . . Highly recommended." — S. Chaudhuri, Choice

 "Interpreting media forms as diverse as reality television, financial journalism, novels, lifestyle blogs, popular cinema, and advertising, this collection of essays edited by Diane Negra & Yvonne Tasker, reveals gendered narratives that recur across media forms too often considered in isolation from one another." — Oleg Komlik, Economic Sociology and Political Economy

"On the whole, Gendering the Recession is a well-researched, well-edited and well-timed book that invites the reader to consider why women are still struggling economically compared to men....Diverse topic areas, focusing not only on different classes, but on different nations and ethnicities, give the study depth and relevance. This is particularly welcome as too often, questions of gender concern the socio-economic elite. The book is surprisingly readable and contains entertaining analyses of television shows." — Jessica Palmarozza,

“If it is not yet clear what a more economically minded, ‘anti-capitalist’ approach to the feminist analysis of popular media culture might look like, Gendering the Recession is of value both for the quality of the readings it collects and for the extent to which it crystallises the challenges that persist.” — Rebecca Bramall, Feminist Review

“The significant contribution of this volume is that the authors are able to connect the various themes of gender and the recession across a variety of media sites. . . . It is a challenge in any edited volume to ensure that the chapters connect with each other to build and support a coherent argument, and this challenge was successfully met in this book. This volume will appeal to scholars and students alike—particularly advanced undergraduate and graduate classes across the social sciences and humanities.” — Mary Gatta, Gender & Society

"This book is a must-read for all who are interested in gender studies as well as for economists, sociologists, and people from social sciences who are interested in the social and political effects of the ongoing recession and the rising economic inequality in the United States and Europe. It provides an important missing link between feminist economist and sociological analyses of the gendered causes as well as the gendered impact of the financial crisis and the recession…" — Margunn Bjornholt, Women's Studies

Gendering the Recession makes a clear, timely, and profound intervention into the field of feminist media studies. This collection remains useful to scholars critiquing the economic dimensions of media culture and those who utilize post-feminism and neoliberalism as frames of analysis. Negra and Tasker, with this publication, initiate an important conversation and establish a trajectory for scholarship that will continue to expand as the outcomes of 'Great Recession' continue to effect media culture.” — Lauren Weinzimmer, Feminist Media Studies

Gendering the Recession fills an important niche within feminist media studies by offering a gender critique of the recession-themed media that has sprouted up in recent years. This book will be invaluable to teachers and students studying contemporary representations of gender in a post-feminist neoliberal era.” — Natasha Patterson, Canadian Journal of Communication

"Gendering the Recession is a must-read. Essays referencing topics such as fashion blogs and thrift practices, housing and home ownership, domestic labor, unemployment, family breakdown, and so on keep the material conditions and lived experience of the recession at the fore." — Anita Biressi, coauthor of Class and Contemporary British Culture

"As the global economic crisis takes new shape, there could be no more timely and telling a contribution to understanding it than this powerful volume. Drawing on some of the best analysts in cultural studies, it emphasizes the necessity of a gendered lens if we are to make sense of the times we live in."—Toby Miller
— Toby Miller, author of Cultural Citizenship: Cosmopolitanism, Consumerism, and Television in a Neoliberal Age


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Price: $27.95

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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Diane Negra is Professor of Film Studies and Screen Culture and Head of Film Studies at University College Dublin.

Yvonne Tasker is Dean of Arts and Humanities at the University of East Anglia.

Negra and Tasker are the coeditors of Interrogating Postfeminism: Gender and the Politics of Popular Culture, also published by Duke University Press.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments vii

Introduction. Gender and Recessionary Culture / Diane Negra and Yvonne Tasker 1

1. Escaping the Recession? The New Vitality of the Woman Worker / Suzanne Leonard 31

2. "Latina Wisdom" in "Postrace" Recession Media / Isabel Molina-Guzmán 59

3. "We Are All Workers": Economic Crisis, Masculinity, and the American Working Class / Sarah Banet-Weiser 81

4. What Julia Knew: Domestic Labor in the Recession-Era Chick Flick / Pamela Thoma 107

5. Dressed for Economic Distress: Blogging and the "New" Pleasures of Fashion / Elizabeth Nathanson 136

6. The (Re)possession of the American Home: Negative Equity, Gender Inequality, and the Housing Crisis Horror Story / Tim Snelson 161

7. House and Home: Structuring Absences in Post-Celtic Tiger Documentary / Sinéad Molony 181

8. "Stuck between Meanings": Recession-Era Print Fictions of Crisis Masculinity / Hamilton Carroll 203

9. Fairy Jobmother to the Rescue: Postfeminism and the Recessionary Cultures of Reality TV / Hannah Hamad 223

10. How Long Can the Party Last? Gendering the European Crisis on Reality TV / Anikó Imre 246

Bibliography 273

Contributors 299

Index 303
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-5696-7 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-5687-5
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