Postfeminism: Cultural Texts and Theories

By Stéphanie Genz; Benjamin A. Brabon | Go to book overview

10
Micro-Politics and Enterprise Culture

OVERVIEW

In this final chapter, we advance the notion of a politicised postfeminism and/or a postfeminist politics, problematising in this way critical perceptions of postfeminism as a depoliticised and anti-feminist backlash. This not only implies a reconsideration of postfeminism but also involves a rethinking of the political sphere and the concept of the individual. We suggest that postfeminism is doubly coded in political terms and is part of a neo-liberal political economy that relies on the image of an ‘enterprising self characterised by initiative, ambition and personal responsibility (Rose). The modern-day ‘enterprise culture’ invites individuals to forge their identity as part of what Anthony Giddens refers to as ‘the reflexive project of the self – that is, in late modernity individuals increasingly reflect upon and negotiate a range of diverse lifestyle choices in constructing a self-identity (Modernity and Self-Identity).

Following Patricia Mann, we argue that the vocabulary of political actions has to be expanded, and we examine the notion of postfeminist ‘micropolitics’, which takes into account the multiple agency positions of individuals today (160). Micro-politics differs from previous models of oppositional politics (including second wave feminist politics) in the sense that it privileges the individual and the micro-level of everyday practices. Postfeminist micropolitics is situated between two political frameworks, incorporating both emancipatory themes and ones more explicitly concerned with individual choices (Budgeon, ‘Emergent Feminist (?) Identities’). We will discuss micropolitics by referring to postfeminist sexual agents who use their body as a commodity to achieve autonomy and agency. This stance is illustrated by the

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Postfeminism: Cultural Texts and Theories
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements vi
  • Introduction- Postfeminist Contexts 1
  • 1 - Backlash and New Traditionalism 51
  • 2 - New Feminism- Victim vs. Power 64
  • 3 - Girl Power and Chick Lit 76
  • 4 - Do-Me Feminism and Raunch Culture 91
  • 5 - Postmodern (Post)Feminism 106
  • 6 - Queer (Post)Feminism 124
  • 7 - Men and Postfeminism 132
  • 8 - Cyber-Postfeminism 145
  • 9 - Third Wave Feminism 156
  • 10 - Micro-Politics and Enterprise Culture 166
  • Afterword- Postfeminist Possibilities 178
  • Bibliography 180
  • Index 196
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