Transnational Subjectivities (Lecture 4)

Shanghi Baby

bridget-jones-babyBridget Jone’s Baby

  • Postfeminist (structure of feeling)
  • Inspiration: Pride and Prejuice

Cultural Sentiment

  • Disavowal of stereotype
  • Feminism as bodily property
  • Individualism and (consumer) choice

Biological Essentialism

  • Return to traditional values → men and women are fundamentally different (the particular roles of women like take care baby and cooking)
  • Heterosexist → reproduces ideals that are problematic for both men and women (body as a marker of success)

Human > Consumer

  • Education, water, health etc. → commercialised
  • Freedom, choice, empowerment > commodity


  • Empowered, postfeminist subjects vs. downtrodden victims of patriarchy
  • #bring back our girls

Intersectional Analysis

  • Multiple axis of differentiation
  • Intersect in historically specific contexts

Problematizing Whiteness

  • Whiteness as an “invisible” signifier → nameless
  • Power reasserts itself in complex ways → racial hierarchies


Beyoncé – the icon of black postfeminist

What dose Beyoncé represent?

  • The way that white people see black people
  • The self-awareness of black people

How does Beyoncé self-representation challenge and reinforce postfeminist femininity?

  • She uses her songs to show the power of women and to express that women can be part of the world, it is not all for men

Why is Beyoncé race made problematic?

  • She is a black people from Africa but she tried hard to get into the America world and to integrate their culture, this make people very appreciate her braveness.

Cultural Intelligibility

  • Recognition as a subject within symbolic
  • draw on cultural norms and discourses to perform identity
  • Means careful negotiation for non-white, non-Western, non-hetero, working class women

Transnational Postfeminism

  • Cultural hegemony
  • Shanghi Baby

Historical Context

  • Open door policy: free trade, opening itself to the world → economic neoliberalism and socialism
  • Changing gender relations → “feminism” as state policy, so different “post-feminism”

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