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Choosing love, marriage and the traditional role: updating hegemonic femininity in Heat magazine

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>6/10/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Gender and Language
Issue number3
Number of pages23
Pages (from-to)324-346
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Stereotypes of white women have historically limited their identities to that of wife and mother. Though restrictive, this type of femininity has been mobilised to create hierarchies of womanhood that legitimate this form and subordinate others. However, social change since the feminist second wave has seen the renegotiation of women's position, and contemporary antiracist and LGBTQIA+ discourse has seen further departure from traditional ideals of femininity. Mass media is a dominant site where controlling images of women are negotiated and in which dominant, or hegemonic, forms emerge. This article applies Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis to examine popular British gossip magazine Heat's romance and sex narratives for discourse which (re)produces, negotiates or challenges hegemonic femininity. Through the appropriation of feminist language, Heat propagates an updated hegemonic femininity which preserves the racio-patriarchal discourse of gender difference whilst pacifying feminist audiences.