Mediated intimacy and postfeminism: a discourse analytic examination of sex and relationships advice in a women’s magazine

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Abstract

This article uses a discourse analytic perspective to analyse sex and relationship advice in a best-selling women’s magazine. It identifies three different interpretative repertoires which together structure constructions of sexual relationships: the intimate entrepreneurship repertoire, organized around plans, goals and the scientific management of relationships; men-ology, in which women are instructed in how to learn to please men; and transforming the self, which calls on women to remodel their interior lives in order to construct a desirable subjectivity. The article considers each repertoire in turn, and also looks at how they work together in order to privilege men and heterosexuality. Discussion focuses in particular on the postfeminist nature of the advice, in which pre-feminist, feminist and anti-feminist ideas are entangled in such a way as to make gender ideologies more pernicious and difficult to contest.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-369
Number of pages25
JournalDiscourse & Communication
Volume3
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009

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