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Handbook of Gender, Work, and Organization by Patricia Yancey Martin, David Knights,, Emma L Jeanes

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Chapter 4

Gender, Work, and Organization in Popular Culture

Alison Pullen and Carl Rhodes

Swansea University

Storytelling is an ancient form of communication and cultural transmission. Throughout history and across nations and societies, narrative is pervasive. As Geertz (1973) explains, the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves are part of the ensemble of texts that make up the culture of a people. But in contemporary times the way we tell ourselves these stories has changed on account of the technological media through which they are presented and transmitted. Today cultural storytelling cannot be accounted for without considering television, cinema, popular novels, magazines, advertisements, the internet, or the other myriad of mass media that emerged in and after the modern era. The technological expansion of the media does not just signal the increased variety and reach of cultural products, but also brings the uneasy marriage of commerce and culture. After industrialization the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves are a part of the vast matrix of corporate activity.

Gender, race and religion are deeply entrenched in and influential on popular culture and the mass media (Fiske, 1989). Popular culture and its relationship to gender has been studied as a general area of inquiry (e.g. Hermes, 2005) as well as in terms of specific media such as magazines (e.g. Walker, 1998), popular music (e.g. McRobbie, 1999), and television (e.g. Heide, 1995). In this chapter we explore ...

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