Fantasy, fiction, and feminism: a study of feminists reading romance
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Despite its huge mass-market appeal, the romance genre continues to be the most maligned of the pulp and mainstream fiction forms. While academic critics, whatever their degree of sympathy with readers, claim that romance serves to reinforce traditional patriarchal structures and values, other researchers claim that beneath the obvious patriarchal influences are elements that women find valuable in their lives. By studying the shift that occurred in the 1980s, and though interviewing feminists who read romance, my research seeks to understand not only the influence that the second-wave women's movement has had on the genre, but also the value that feminists place on the reading of romance fiction. If it turns out that academic critics have not kept up with the changes in romance fiction, the image of the contemporary romance reader will require significant change.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
DepartmentWomen's and Gender Studies
ProgramWomen's and Gender Studies
CommitteeKorinek, Valerie; Forsyth, Louise
Copyright DateSeptember 2006