Technologies of Sexiness: Sex, Identity, and Consumer Culture

Hardcover | August 13, 2014

byAdrienne Evans, Sarah Riley

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Key cultural shifts have enabled a "new sexualization" of women. Neoliberal, consumerist, and postfeminist media culture have shaped ways of understanding female sexuality, embodied by the figure of the choosing, empowered, entrepreneurial consumer citizen-woman, whose economic capitaldetermines feminine success (and failure). Informed by older constructs of privilege such as class, sexuality, race and (dis)ability, this version of sexiness also constrains by folding contemporary femininity back into previous panics about youth, excess, "bad" consumption, and appropriate femininebehavior. In Technologies of Sexiness, Adrienne Evans and Sarah Riley identify how current understandings of sexiness in public life and academic discourse have produced a "doubled stagnation," cycling around old debates without forward momentum. Developing a theoretical and methodological framework, theyexpand on the notion of a "technology of sexiness." They ask what happens and what is lost when people make sense of themselves within the complexities and contradictions of consumer-oriented constructs of sexiness. How do these discourses come to "transform the self"?This book provides a framework for understanding how women make sense of their sexual identities in the context of a feminization of sexual consumerism. The authors analyze material collected with two groups of women: the "pleasure pursuers" and "functioning feminists," who broadly occupy positionsacross the pre- and post-Thatcher eras, and the changes brought about by the feminist movement. As one of the first book-length empirical studies to explore age-related femininities in the context of what "sexiness" means today, the authors develop a series of insights into various "technologies ofthe self" through analyses of space, nostalgia, and claims to authentic sexiness.

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Key cultural shifts have enabled a "new sexualization" of women. Neoliberal, consumerist, and postfeminist media culture have shaped ways of understanding female sexuality, embodied by the figure of the choosing, empowered, entrepreneurial consumer citizen-woman, whose economic capitaldetermines feminine success (and failure). Informed...

Adrienne Evans is a Senior Lecturer in Media at Coventry University. Her main research interest is in exploring women's contemporary sexual identities. Her current work continues in contemporary gender relations and the use of creative methods in research and teaching. She has published this work in the European Journal of Women's Stud...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:176 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:August 13, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199914761

ISBN - 13:9780199914760

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Table of Contents

Preface1. Sex, Identity, and Consumer Culture2. Doubled Stagnations: Mapping Debates3. Technologies of Sexiness4. Pursuing Pleasure5. Functioning Feminists6. Constant Regulation, Constant Repositioning, and Finding Hope in 'Othering'