In this book, one of the most accomplished and thoughtful cultural commentators of the day, considers the contradictory nature of cultural relations. Elizabeth Wilson explores these themes through an examination of fashion, feminism, consumer culture, representation and postmodernism. Debates within feminism on the nature and effects of pornography are used to illustrate a particular kind of cultural contradiction. Wilson recognizes that postmodernism permitted the reappropriation of subjects that were not previously considered worthy of attention, or opposed to the idea of emancipation, chief among these was fashion. She shows that the association of an interest in this culturally significant subject with a revisionist project raises doubt



The essays in this collection were written under the shadow of postmodernism/postmodernity. They are linked by an interest in the position of women, although few address feminism directly. Exploring fields of study whose profile has been raised over the past fifteen to twenty years (fashion, the consumption of urban space) or in which there have been major revisions of past assumptions (feminism), they offered a commentary on aspects of life across the postmodern landscape, but do not address postmodern theory as such. A lack of training in philosophy and an ambivalence about the postmodern has prevented the staking out of a position, with the result that I may seem to be trying to have it both ways, combining what might best be described as ...

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