Feminism, Media, and the Law

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The growing presence of women in the legal profession and the prominence of law as a site of feminist social change make the complex interrelationship between the media, feminism, and the law a critical concern across disciplines. Drawing on legal theory, cultural studies, journalism, political science, sociology, and communications, this book presents a collection of essays that explore how the media represents and constructs gender, law, and feminism. Arranged thematically, these twenty-three articles are the work of distinguished academics and activists.

The collection begins with a section on "Portrayals of Feminism in the Media", which provides historical background on the media's treatment of feminist issues. The anthology proceeds with sections entitled "Feminism, Law, and Popular Culture"; "Essentializing Gender"; and "Media Images of Violence". Giving fresh and provocative treatments to such complex and topical subjects as hate radio, Anita Hill, popular women's magazines, and the portrayal of women in film and television, Feminism, Media, and the Law is required reading for anyone interested in feminism and its relationship to the media.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195096286
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/9/1997
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Columbia University

State University of New York

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Table of Contents

I Portrayals of Feminism in the Media
1 Introduction 3
2 Media Images/Feminist Issues 8
3 Hate Radio: Why We Need to Tune In to Limbaugh and Stern 22
4 The Making of a "Quota Queen": News Media and the Bias of Objectivity 27
5 The Real Real Anita Hill, or the Making of a Backlash Best-Seller 41
6 Fear of Feminism: Media Stories of Feminist Victims and Victims of Feminism on College Campuses 57
7 Glamour Law: Feminism through the Looking Glass of Popular Women's Magazines 72
II Feminism, Law, and Popular Culture
8 Introduction 87
9 The Movie of the Week: Law, Narrativity, and Gender on Prime Time 91
10 Rape on Soaps: The Legal Angle 104
11 Pop Justice: TV, Motherhood, and the Law 120
12 Law and Racial Reelism: Black Women and Celluloid "Legal" Heroines 136
13 Women on Trial: The Female Lawyer in the Hollywood Courtroom 146
III Essentializing Gender
14 Introduction 171
15 Law, Cultural Media[tion], and Desire in the Lives of Adolescent Girls 177
16 The Politics of Surrogacy Narratives 193
17 "Bad Mothers" and Welfare Reform in Massachusetts: The Case of Claribel Ventura 203
18 Spectacles of the Strange: Envisioning Violence in the Central Park Jogger Trial 217
IV Media Images of Violence
19 Introduction: The Seens and Unseens of Popular Cultural Representation 227
20 Crime News, Crime Fear, and Women's Everyday Lives 235
21 Lesbians, Prostitutes, and Murder: Media Constructs Violence Constructs Power 249
22 Blindfolded: Rape and the Press's Fear of Feminism 267
23 Race under Construction: The Master Narrative of White Supremacy in the Media Representation of African American/Korean American Conflict 273
References 291
Table of Cases 319
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