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
Chapter 7: The Invisible Flâneur
The Invisible Flâneur
The relationship of women and cities has long preoccupied reformers and philanthropists. In recent years the preoccupation has been inverted, the Victorian determination to control working-class women replaced by a feminist concern for women's safety and comfort in city streets; but whether women are seen as a problem of cities, or cities as a problem for women, the relationship is perceived as one fraught with difficulty.
With the intensification of the public/private divide in the industrial period, the presence of women on the streets and in public places of entertainment caused enormous anxiety, and was the occasion for any number of moralising and regulatory discourses in the nineteenth century. In fact, the fate and position of women in the city was ...