The Task of Cultural Critique

University of Illinois Press
Publication year

Chapter 5 is titled "Chick Lit: 'Not Your Mother's Romance Novels'."

The romance novel is one of the ideological discourses through which the illusion of middle class is normalized and made to seem a reflection of society itself. This fantasy is made more realistic by the way capitalism and its cultural products, such as romances, focus on the individual and individuality, which is a convenient cover-up for class differences. [...] Texts of popular culture such as romances and chick lit play a crucial role in the translation of the economic into the cultural and in neutralizing the contradictions of capitalism. They do this by turning class - which is the effect of economic inequalities - into a cultural difference: a matter of style, of prestige, of having a sense of elegance, a refined taste in wine, an educated accent, and so on. [...] Through popular culture, for the most part, class is distorted into being classy. (102)

There is also a small sub-section titled "Women's Romances and Their Ideology" (pages 191-193).

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