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Cracks in the Pedestal: Ideology and Gender in Hollywood
     

Cracks in the Pedestal: Ideology and Gender in Hollywood

by Philip Green
 

This book analyzes the ways in which the American film and television industry--the multifaceted, male-dominated institution known as Hollywood--has responded to the feminist cultural revolution of the past twenty-five years. The focus is on the treatment of those ideals and institutions, especially "the family," within which prevailing notions of gender and

Overview

This book analyzes the ways in which the American film and television industry--the multifaceted, male-dominated institution known as Hollywood--has responded to the feminist cultural revolution of the past twenty-five years. The focus is on the treatment of those ideals and institutions, especially "the family," within which prevailing notions of gender and sexuality are embedded and take on active life. Distinguishing his own neo-Marxist approach from that of other media scholars, Philip Green pursues two interrelated themes. In the first part of the book, he looks at the strategies Hollywood has employed to deflect or absorb the ideological challenges posed by the feminist critique of contemporary American society. He demonstrates the ways in which mainstream movies and television programs, no matter how unconventional or "subversive" they may appear, produce and reproduce familiar images of sexuality and gender identity. In the second part, Green highlights instances in which reproduction of the dominant ideology is less successful by examining several recent new film noir--that portray the real ambiguities of a social order in upheaval. As a male consumer of the cultural commodities being discussed, the author offers a perspective on American films and television different from that of most other feminist critics.

University of Massachusetts Press

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Proposes that the contemporary production of visual culture takes place under conditions prominently structured by the feminist cultural revolution of the 1970s. Although Hollywood's response to this revolution has been rife with slippages and pregnant with evasions, a sense of sexual contestation is present, though obliquely expressed, in movies in such nonmainstream genres as martial arts, rape revenge, and neo-noir that feature powerful female protagonists. Paper edition (unseen), $17.95. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781558491205
Publisher:
University of Massachusetts Press
Publication date:
12/09/1997
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.06(w) x 9.23(h) x 0.81(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

Joel Kovel

This is an excellent book... Green has put together something which will be of definite use in a large and growing community of media studies and feminist academic programs.

Meet the Author

Author of The Pursuit of Inequality and Retrieving Democracy, Philip Green is Sophia Smith Professor of Government at Smith College.

University of Massachusetts Press

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