Colluding with Neoliberalism: Postfeminist subjectivities, whiteness and expressions of entitlement

Wilkes, Karen (2015) Colluding with Neoliberalism: Postfeminist subjectivities, whiteness and expressions of entitlement. Feminist Review, 110 (1). pp. 18-33. ISSN 1466-4380

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This discussion contributes to the ongoing debates regarding the (re)sexualisation of female bodies in popular and visual culture. Visual texts display the upper middle class white female as the carrier of mainstream neoliberal values in Western societies, and the success of this approach is the twinning of the culture of individualism, self-interest and market values with feminist vocabularies; namely choice, freedom and independence. Drawing on a broad feminist scholarship that includes discussions on the influence of the HBO series, Sex and the City, semiotic analysis is combined with intersectionality to gain an understanding of how gender, class and sexuality shape and reinforce whiteness as entitled to luxury in an advertising campaign for Michael Kors luxury goods. Contemporary representations have expanded to include representations of affluent women who appear to ‘have it all’. These new postfeminist subjectivities promote an aesthetic of wealth, to display privileged whiteness, heterosexuality, normative Western beauty ideals and individualism. An intersectional approach reveals the apparent neutrality of neoliberal values as being an expression of whiteness, specifically in representations of white women as economically independent neoliberal subjects who display their status through the conspicuous consumption of luxury brands.

Item Type: Article
2 April 2015Accepted
26 June 2015Published Online
Subjects: CAH15 - social sciences > CAH15-01 - sociology, social policy and anthropology > CAH15-01-02 - sociology
CAH24 - media, journalism and communications > CAH24-01 - media, journalism and communications > CAH24-01-05 - media studies
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences > Dept. Criminology and Sociology
Depositing User: Karen Wilkes
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2019 10:08
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2022 15:55

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