|Institutions||Goldsmiths, University of London|
|Known for||Gender in youth culture|
|Part of a series on|
Angela McRobbie (born 1951) is a British cultural theorist, feminist and commentator. McRobbie combines the study of different dimensions of youth culture with a commentary on development in cultural theory and politics.
McRobbie studied as a postgraduate at the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham. She taught in London, later at Loughborough University, and is a Professor for Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London.
McRobbie’s best-known work revolves around the analysis of gender in youth culture. She was critical of the work on subcultures at the CCCS completed by Paul Willis and Dick Hebdige, because of its lack of attention to gender. Furthermore, she stressed the need to analyse the nature of young women’s cultural life, in order to establish whether it was structured differently from that of boys. This approach led to papers on the culture of femininity, romance, pop music and teenybop culture, the teenage magazine Jackie and so on. These earlier essays can be found in Feminism and Youth Culture (1991).
McRobbie refined her approach and the entailed research through the 1980s. She discussed the importance of dance in female youth cultures and analysed the developing informal economy of second-hand markets in her own edited collection Zoot Suits and Second-hand Dress (1989). Cultural shifts in gender caused her to reconsider some of her earlier arguments. She has studied rave culture and the opportunity that it provides for new roles for young women as well as discussing the shift to the centrality of pop in magazines for young girls such as Just Seventeen. These concerns were connected to the influence and evaluation of debates about postmodernism in theory and culture which are to be found in Postmodernism and Popular Culture (1994).
McRobbie’s essays have had a large impact on the consideration of youth culture. She has been at the forefront of arguments emphasising the importance of taking gender into account and for the need to examine the works of male writers for the versions of masculinity they contain. In the 1990s, McRobbie was seen as one of the most thoughtful and sophisticated commentator on magazines for young women. She has carefully studied the ways in which the magazines have changed since the 1970s, and has repeatedly asked difficult questions about what kind of magazine feminists would want, if they are unhappy with today's magazines.
Her current research focuses on the ‘new culture industry’, particularly on the labour practices in the world of freelance, casualised creative work and micro-enterprises of creative labour such as fashion design, art-working, multi-media, curating and arts administration.
- Zoot Suits and Second-hand Dress (1989)
- Feminism and Youth Culture (1991)
- Postmodernism and Popular Culture (1994)
- British Fashion Design: Rag Trade or Image Industry? (1998)
- In the Culture Society: Art, Fashion and Popular Music (1999)
- The Uses of Cultural Studies: A Textbook (2005)
- The Aftermath of Feminism: Gender, Culture and Social Change (2009)
- AngelaMcRobbie.net - Angela McRobbie's Official Blog
- Goldsmiths, University of London
- Culture theory
- Rosalind Gill
- Feminist philosophy
- Feminist theory
- Gender studies
- Youth culture
- Baldwin, Elaine et al. (1999). Introducing Cultural Studies. Athens: The University of Georgia Press. p. 343. ISBN 0-8203-2245-8.
- Gauntlett, David. "Angela McRobbie". Archived from the original on 24 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-21.
- "Angela McRobbie". Archived from the original on 2 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-21.