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Bad Girls

Bad Girls examines representational practices of film and television stories beginning with post-Vietnam cinema and ending with post-feminisms and contemporary public disputes over women in the military. The book explores a diverse range of popular media texts, from the Alien saga to Ally McBeal and Sex and the City, from The Net and VR5 to Sportsnight and G.I.Jane. The research is framed as a study of intergenerational tensions in portrayals of women and public institutions - in careers, governmental service, and interactions with technology. Using iconic texts and their contexts as a primary focus, this book offers a rhetorical and cultural history of the tensions between remembering and forgetting in representations of the American feminist movement between 1979 and 2005. Looking forward, the book sets an agenda for discussion of gender issues over the next twenty-five years and articulates with authority the manner in which "transgression" itself has become a site of struggle.
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About the Author

The Authors: A. Susan Owen received her Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Iowa and is Professor in the Communication Studies Department at the University of Puget Sound. She is co-author of Parallels: The Soldier's Knowledge and the Oral History of Contemporary Warfare, as well as author of articles and book chapters on representations of women in popular culture, visual rhetoric and cultural memory, queer representation, and critical race studies. Sarah R. Stein received her Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Iowa and is Associate Professor of Communication at North Carolina State University. She is an award-winning documentary film editor and the author of articles and book chapters on gender and digital culture, critical analyses of technology advertisements, and the integration of information and communication technologies into higher education. Leah R. Vande Berg received her Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Iowa and was Professor of Communication Studies at California State University, Sacramento. She is co-author/co-editor of four books, including Organizational Life on Television and Critical Approaches to Television, and she was former editor of the Western Journal of Communication, and past president of the Western Communication Association. She died in 2004 before this book was completed.


'Bad Girls' rides the cutting edge of new feminist scholarship. This engaging and important volume brings the study of how women are represented in media into the twenty-first century. Bad Girls is an indispensable book for rhetorical scholars and others interested in women's issues. (Barry Brummett, University of Texas at Austin) This courageous book - to write, to publish, to teach - gets down to cases about how embodied subjectivity works and works out in television and film of the postmodern era. Proving the discursive politics that disciplines genders and recuperates transgressors (and the bodies they inhabit), Owen, Stein, and Vande Berg offer accessible readings of texts and the contexts in which they arise. Their unblinking response to the paralyzing force of postfeminism, at once reasoned and impassioned, flings open doors to reconciliation for feminists of all ages and stripes. (Caren Deming, University of Arizona)

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