Consuming Desires: A Feminist Analysis of Bestselling Teen Romance Novels Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • March 20, 2019
Creator
  • Johnson, Naomi Ruth
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication
Abstract
  • Teen romance novels are routinely ignored as frivolous forms of entertainment. Nonetheless, they (re)produce particular versions of femininity and, therefore, are worthy of study. This quantitative and qualitative research examined three bestselling young adult romance series: Gossip Girl, A-List, and Clique, which are all produced by Alloy Entertainment, a marketing firm subsidiary. Alloy Entertainment markets these books to advertisers as a vehicle for product placement (Mehegan, 2006). Consumption, often of specified brands and product lines, were linked with female character’s (a) social status; (b) need for a thin body; and (c) increased romantic and sexual desirability. Hundreds of brand names appear frequently within the texts. These are linked through narrative to desirable and stigmatized lifestyles and identities. I argue that these novels’ central focus is not romance at all, but rather how an idealized femininity may be established through consumption.
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Wood, Julia T.
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  • Open access
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