Postfeminism in Context: Women, Australian Popular Culture, and the Unsettling of Postfeminism

Postfeminism in Context studies the representation of women in Australian popular culture over the past three decades to locate postfeminism in a specific time and place.
Margaret Henderson and Anthea Taylor argue that ‘postfeminism’, as a critical term, has been too often deployed in ways that fail to account for historical and cultural specificity. This book analyses Australian popular culture – chick lit novels; ‘dramedy’ television shows; women’s magazines; YouTube beauty vlogs; self-help manuals; and newspapers – to reveal the tensions, contradictions and ambiguities that have always been constitutive of postfeminism, including in Australia. Examining how these popular forms intervene in dominant conversations about contemporary Australian femininities, Postfeminism in Context maps the ways in which various aspects of Australia’s history and national identity have shaped its postfeminism. While Henderson and Taylor identify some of the limited postfeminist tropes and patterns of representation evident in comparable locales, they also find that Australian popular culture has responded to feminism in a much more hopeful way.
Adding some much-needed cultural specificity to the ongoing debate around this loaded term, Postfeminism in Context is essential reading for those interested in Australian popular culture, feminism, and the gendered politics of representation.