“This groundbreaking collection explores the intersecting variables of groups marginalized by the media. Contributors examine gender, race, class, sexual orientation, geography, and ethnicity in relation to feminist multicultural issues…. Highly recommended for students of feminism, multiculturalism, cultural studies, communication theory, and media analysis.” --Choice “Most of the world's women experience multiple forms of oppression, yet few communication scholars have prioritized this profound reality. Professor Valdivia's collection examining feminism, multiculturalism, and the media is a welcome text for courses on women, minorities, and communication, plus an excellent resource for many other courses concerned with issues of diversity.” --H. Leslie Steeves, University of Oregon “Many contributors illustrate contradictions in multicultural and feminist media perspectives. These embrace more than feminist analysis: They illustrate how gender, race, class, and ethnicity affect media coverage and reception, providing theoretical approaches to analyzing media coverage.” --The Bookwatch The multiplicity of voices in this volume illustrates the contradictions inherent in multicultural and feminist perspectives on the media. Feminism, Multiculturalism, and the Media breaks new ground by exploring intersecting variables of oppression, from the personal to the political. The volume begins with feminist analyses but uncovers marginalized “others” in every area. These compelling case studies illustrate how issues of gender, race, class, sexual orientation, global origin, and ethnicity affect the coverage, portrayal, media production, and reception of every human being. The chapters present theoretical perspectives, provide examples of methodologies, focus on topics of current interest and global relevance, and represent a variety of media. An essential addition for any individual or classroom interested in critical perspectives on media, especially for courses on women in the media and minorities and the media.
Chapter 8: Missing Persons: Working-Class Women and the Movies, 1940–1990
Missing Persons: Working-Class Women and the Movies, 1940–1990
The 1991 release of Thelma & Louise generated much controversy among film critics and other observers of popular culture. Most of the debate was over the gender politics of the film: Was it a feminist film? An anti-feminist film? A male-bashing film? Little attention was paid to the fact that Thelma and Louise were members of a tiny sorority: working-class women in the movies, particularly working-class women in heroic roles.
This chapter chronicles the visibility—more precisely, the invisibility—of working-class women's experience in Hollywood cinema. Beginning with the 1940s and 1950s, we identify economic, political, and social forces that shaped movies and thus structured not only representations of but the presence ...