Women and Soap Opera
A Cultural Feminist Perspective
Women's soap opera viewing has long been thought of by feminists and nonfeminists as an unproductive waste of time. Blumenthal takes the opposing view, arguing that women's indulgence in these programs is actually liberating.
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Women's soap opera viewing has long been thought of by feminists and nonfeminists as an unproductive waste of time. Blumenthal takes the opposing view, arguing that women's indulgence in these programs is actually liberating. In overcoming the social opposition to the stigma attached to the feminine content and style, and engaging in soap opera viewing, women celebrate their femininity, particularly their gendered identification with romance, relationality, intuitiveness, talkativeness, and other aspects of emotionality. This book will be of interest to academics in the areas of sociology, women's studies, and media studies.
- Table of Contents
A Cultural Feminist Study
The Personal as Intellectual and Political
Feminist Study and the Academy: Research as Praxis
Feminist Perspective-Taking: Some Aspects
Feminist Qualitative Methodology: Some Aspects
Calling All Resources: Feminist-Compatible Methodologies and Methods
The Gender-Context Perspective and Its Antecedents
Conventional Wisdom: "Effects" and "Gratifications"
Complicating the Subject: "Audience Response"
The Politics of Meaning Construction: Feminist Perspectives
A Gender-Context Perspective: Women's Soap Opera Viewing as Interrelated Components of a Feminist Praxis
The Interplay between Women Viewers and Gendered Text
On Soaps: Feminine-Oriented Emotionality as an Attraction
On Talkshows: Masculinized Emotion Displays as a Turnoff
On Feminism: The Interplay between Identity Construction and Meaning Construction in the Act of Viewing
Feminist Scholarship on the Gendered Soap Opera Text
Arriving at a Feminist Aesthetic
Academic Conceptualizations of Soap Opera Form and Content
Feminist Scholarship on Soap Operas: The Feminine Aesthetic as a Feminist Aesthetic
The Gendered Social Contexts of Women's Soap Opera Viewing
Overcoming the Social Devaluation of Women's Soap Opera Viewing
Soap Operas as Self-Nurturance: Setting Aside Time Away from Caring for Others
Soap Operas as Communal Womanspace
Conclusion: Implications of the Study for Future Research
...provides a succinct synopsis of broad feminist issues and their impact on methodological and critical approaches that all readers can appreciate.
With her book, Dannielle Blumenthal does for daytime soap operas what Janice Radway did for romance novels. Blumenthal takes a genre that traditionally has been undervalued by society, as well as communication researchers, and shows how soap opera viewing is an empowering activity for women. A strength of Blumenthal's work is the range of methods she applies to the study of daytime soap operas--content analysis, surveys of soap opera viewers, and analysis of open-ended comments from the viewers themselves. Blumenthal's analysis resolves some of the contradictions inherent in understanding the appeal of soap operas--how a genre that simplifies and trivializes some of women's concerns can empower women and be a feminist activity.