Regulation of Female Sexuality in Early American Cinema
By (author) Janet Staiger
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Bad Women by Janet Staiger
Book DescriptionHow did cultural tensions about "appropriate" behaviour for women play out in early 20th-century films? Janet Steiger examines a classical period in Hollywood cinema during which the notion of the "bad woman" was created, magnified and spread nationwide. She isolates 1907-1915 as the key moment in the struggle over the meaning of "woman" as a sign, and illustrates how such issues as sexuality and hygiene were being reimagined to define an appropriate version of, and explanation for, women's sexuality. The early 1900s saw the repeal of reticence laws, opening up issues of behaviour and sexuality for wide discussion. The movies of the time portrayed "good women" as intelligent, self-assertive, and desiring - as long as what they desired was appropriate and their desire was not excessive. "Bad women" in turn, were wayward and oversexed. She proposes that these images of "good" and "bad" women suggested a middle-class vision of sexual morality, a vision that was not necessarilly repressive, rather a response to how women and women's sexuality might most appropriately fit a developing consumer society. This work provides important and interesting insights about the role of cinema as a redemptive instrument during the progressive era. Staiger examines how self-regulation institutions within the film industry were advocates of one sector of the middle-class. She discusses what effect the formation of the National Board of Review and the New York City censorship board had on sexual regulation through an in-depth exploration of these films: Traffic in Souls", "A Fool There Was" and "The Cheat".
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780816626250
(234mm x 156mm x 14mm)
Imprint: University of Minnesota Press
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Publish Date: 8-Aug-1995
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Janet Staiger
Political Emotions, Hardback (April 2010)
Explores the contributions that the study of discourses, rhetoric, and framing of emotion make to understanding the public sphere, civil society and the political realm. This title examines why some sentiments are valued in public communication while others are judged irrelevant, and considers how sentiments mobilize political trajectories.
Convergence Media History, Hardback (July 2009)
Explores the ways that digital convergence has changed the field of media history. This title features essays that address a single medium - including film, television, advertising, sound recording, new media, and more - and connects that specific medium's history to larger issues for the field in writing multi-media or convergent histories.
Media Reception Studies, Paperback (July 2005)» View all books by Janet Staiger
Surveys the past century of scholarship on the ways in which audiences make meaning out of mass media. The book synthesizes social scientific, linguistic, and cultural studies approaches to film and television as communication media.
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