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Watery passion: The struggle between hegemony and sexual liberation in erotic fiction for women

Patthey-Chavez, GG and Clare, L and Youmans, M (1996) Watery passion: The struggle between hegemony and sexual liberation in erotic fiction for women. Discourse and Society, 7 (1). 77 - 106. ISSN 0957-9265

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Erotic texts have historically been written for male consumption and women's erotic preferences were either marginalized or assumed to coincide with men's. Following Lakoff (1987), this paper examines the metaphors and semantic associations constructed in and through the first erotic genre explicitly directed to a female audience: the erotic romance novel. The sexual experiences portrayed in 16 romances representing a typical contemporary North American selection were excerpted for a detailed analysis guided by the precepts and methods of critical discourse analysis (Fairclough, 1989; Van Dijk, 1993) and cultural critiques (Christian-Smith, 1993; Lutz and Abu-Lughod, 1990). The genre presents a unique erotic style (Youmans and Patthey-Chavez, 1992) even as it reflects prescriptive formulas meant to enhance its marketability (Paludan, 1994). The analysis reveals that it is contested ground - at once consummation of female desire and hegemonic channeling of that desire into the safety of accepted/acceptable patterns of female agency and female experience. © 1996 SAGE.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Patthey-Chavez, GG
Clare, L
Youmans, M
Date: 1 January 1996
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Discourse and Society
Volume: 7
Number: 1
Page Range: 77 - 106
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1177/0957926596007001004
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Learning Sciences and Policy
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0957-9265
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2015 14:59
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2019 14:56


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