Why “intergenerational feminist media studies”?

Winch, Alison; Littler, Jo and Keller, Jessalynn. 2016. Why “intergenerational feminist media studies”? Feminist Media Studies, 16(4), pp. 557-572. ISSN 1468-0777 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Feminism and generation are live and ideologically freighted issues that are subject to a substantial amount of media engagement. The figure of the millennial and the baby boomer, for example, regularly circulate in mainstream media, often accompanied by hyperbolic and vitriolic discourses and affects of intergenerational feminist conflict. In addition, theories of feminist generation and waves have been and continue to be extensively critiqued within feminist theory. Given the compelling criticisms directed at these categories, we ask: why bother examining and foregrounding issues of generation, intergeneration, and transgeneration in feminist media studies? Whilst remaining sceptical of linearity and familial metaphors and of repeating reductive, heteronormative, and racist versions of feminist movements, we believe that the concept of generation does have critical purchase for feminist media scholars. Indeed, precisely because of the problematic ways that is it used, and the prevalence of it as a volatile, yet only too palpable, organizing category, generation is both in need of continual critical analysis, and is an important tool to be used—with care and nuance—when examining the multiple routes through which power functions in order to marginalize, reward, and oppress. Exploring both diachronic and synchronic understandings of generation, this article emphasizes the use of conjunctural analysis to excavate the specific historical conditions that impact upon and create generation. This special issue of Feminist Media Studies covers a range of media forms—film, games, digital media, television, print media, as well as practices of media production, intervention, and representation. The articles also explore how figures at particular lifestages—particularly the girl and the aging woman—are constructed relationally, and circulate, within media, with particular attention to sexuality. Throughout the issue there is an emphasis on exploring the ways in which the category of generation is mobilized in order to gloss sexism, racism, ageism, class oppression, and the effects of neoliberalism.

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“This is an Accepted Manuscript version of the following article, accepted for publication in Feminist Media Studies on 30 June 2016, available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/14680777.2016.1193285. It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.”


Feminism, generation, intergenerational, media studies

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


30 June 2016Published

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Date Deposited:

23 Sep 2022 15:51

Last Modified:

28 Mar 2024 16:25

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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