Neoliberalism, Postfeminism, and Ideal Girls: A Semiotic Discourse Analysis of Successful Girlhood in Seventeen Magazine

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Title: Neoliberalism, Postfeminism, and Ideal Girls: A Semiotic Discourse Analysis of Successful Girlhood in Seventeen Magazine
Authors: Sands, Victoria
Date: 2012
Abstract: This thesis looks at how a contemporary notion of successful girlhood is negotiated in the social text of Seventeen magazine. Moreover, it demonstrates the ways in which Seventeen’s representations of successful and ideal girls reflect and mediate timely values of postfeminism and neoliberalism. This thesis will also make visible how race, class, ability, and sexuality are negotiated within Seventeen’s “success” framework, in order to illuminate intersectional issues implicit in conceptualizing ideal girlhood. The method for this research is a semiotic discourse analysis, looking at the visual and linguistic signs within the text in order to connect them with broader ideologies and themes surrounding contemporary ideal girlhood. Drawing on girls’ studies and feminist cultural studies literature, the discourse of ideal girlhood is situated in a so-called “postfeminist” moment, in which girls, as popular, highly visible subjects in contemporary society, are perceived to be poised for achievement and social ascension, all while being closely surveilled. These expectations of postfeminism intersect with current neoliberal principles of individualized success; analysis is therefore connected with and contextualized by discussion of late modern principles of neoliberalism and its economic, social, and political logic.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/23354
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-6100
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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