"...it sucked because it was written for teenage girls": Twilight, anti-fans and symbolic violence

Catherine Strong

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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In Western societies, cultural products associated with girls or women, either as the creator or the main audience, have often been positioned at or near the bottom of the cultural hierarchy (Huyssen, 1986; Modleski, 1986:48). Examples of this include romance novels, soap operas and 'pop' music. This paper will examine the response of 'anti-fans' in on-line communities to the hugely successful Twilight series (both the books and the movie), with a view to demonstrating how the feminine nature of the series is central to the criticisms made of it and its fans. The associated naturalisation of the teenage girl as an uncritical, overly-emotional consumer of culture will be analysed as a form of symbolic violence that helps to reproduce power relations between men and women. The paper will demonstrate that the themes that arise in the discussion of Twilight coincide in many ways with debates within academia, feminism itself and wider society around the value and effects of popular culture, and ultimately contribute to the construction of a hierarchy of tastes that continues to denigrate feminine culture.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTASA 2009
Subtitle of host publicationThe future of sociology
EditorsDan Woodman Dan Woodman
Place of PublicationAustralia
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780646525013
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventThe Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Conference - Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
Duration: 01 Dec 200904 Dec 2009


ConferenceThe Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Conference
Abbreviated titleThe Future of Sociology
Internet address

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