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Embodying Neoliberal Femininity

Embodying Neoliberal Femininity

This lecture will provide an introduction to recent feminist scholarship which seeks to theorise and critically evaluate the complex relationship between neoliberalism and feminism. We will consider how this relationship has produced expectations for the performance of gendered selfhood in accordance with qualities of individuality, autonomy, confidence and freedom. Key characteristics of ‘neoliberal femininity’ and its normative functioning across a range of substantive areas will be analysed including beauty and body practices; consumerism and consumption; and work and organizational cultures. We will further analyse this production of selfhood through the lens of intersectionality and transnationalism to critically evaluate the role it plays in the reproduction of inequality.

Shelley Budgeon (University of Birmingham)

Shelley Budgeon is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology who specializes in gender and feminist theory. Her research concentrates on how various forces of social change impact on the constitution of gender relations and the performance of gendered identities. Her expertise encompasses theories of gendered subjectivity; embodiment; feminist politics; theories of new materialism; gender, postfeminism and neoliberalism; sexuality and personal life; and gendered organizations. Her books include Third Wave Feminism and the Politics of Gender in Late Modernity(Palgrave, 2011) and Choosing a Self: Young Women and the Individualization of Identity(Praegar, 2003). She has co-edited a special issue of Current Sociology on “Cultures of Intimacy and Care Beyond ‘The Family’ and has published in a wide range of journals including Sociology; Gender, Work and Organisation; Sexualities; Body & Society; European Journal of Women’s Studies; Sociological Research Online; and Women’s Studies International Forum. She has been a visiting scholar at the University of British Columbia Institute for Gender, ‘Race’, Sexuality and Social Justice and at the Monash University Centre for Women’s Studies and Gender Research.