To what extent can the television cookery genre be seen to represent the changes in views of femininity, feminism and women's roles which have occurred since the 1950s?

Norum, Ben (2008) To what extent can the television cookery genre be seen to represent the changes in views of femininity, feminism and women's roles which have occurred since the 1950s? BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    The past 50 years have seen much change in the role of women in society, as well as understandings of the notions of femininity and feminism. A crucial aspect of this has been women's relation to domesticity, which has traditionally been one of the defining aspects of womanhood, and also inextricably linked with patriarchy. With cookery having longstanding associations with both domesticity and femininity, the cookery media could be seen as an ideal site for the representation of these changes, especially on television, which is itself a domestic medium. The extent to which television cookery shows have reflected changing concepts of femininity and women's roles over the past 50 years is analysed from the perspective of three significant shows, each from a very different phase of femininity. Fanny Cradock's shows from the 1950-60s, the time of 'the happy housewife'; Delia Smith's shows from the 1970-90s, the height of second-wave feminism; and Nigella Lawson's shows from 2000 onwards, a period of third-wave, dispersed feminism. Whilst the shows do appear to be representative of their respective times in their depictions of women, the complexity of their presentations combined with the complexity of the notion of femininity makes them somewhat ambiguous, leading to the conclusion that the true extent to which they are representative will depend on audience interpretation.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:14
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/520

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