Rosalind Gill

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Rosalind Gill
Born 1963
Residence United Kingdom
Fields Sociology
Institutions King's College London
Known for Cultural and creative work
Media and popular culture
Discursive, narrative, visual and psychosocial approaches
Gender and sexuality

Rosalind Gill is a British cultural theorist, feminist, and media commentator. Her work focuses on representations of gender, media culture and work in the creative industries. She is currently the Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at King's College London.[1]

Biography[edit]

Gill is the daughter of Janet and Michael Gill,[2] whom she describes as "Marxist parents". In an interview[3] she says she grew up to be "a young, politically active, left-wing person" with a particular interest in "how culture, and ideology gets inside us and shapes us."

She received her doctorate, which was concerned with new racism and new sexism in British pop radio,[4] in social psychology from the Discourse and Rhetoric Group (DARG), Loughborough University in 1991.

She has since worked in Sociology, Gender Studies and Media and Communications departments at Goldsmiths College, the Open University, and the London School of Economics, where she taught for ten years. She moved to King's College in 2010 to take up the position of Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis,[1] a title which at the request of the university she invented for herself.[5]

Gill is part of the Culture, Media & Creative Industries department and teaches in their masters program, as well as supervising a number of PhD students.[1]

Research[edit]

Gill is known for her research interests in gender and media, cultural work, new technologies and mediated intimacy. Her most famous book, Gender and the Media,[6] was published in 2007. In it she gives a comprehensive outline of the trajectory of feminist media studies, the debates that exist concerning gender and the media, as well as examining specific genres of media – women's magazines, 'lad mags', talk shows, news and romances.

She has also produced considerable work on methodologies, and the academic process.[7][8][9]

Postfeminism[edit]

One of Gill's most significant theoretical contributions is her discussion of postfeminism, which she claims is "one of the most important and contested terms in the lexicon of feminist cultural analysis".[10] She argues that though the term has been used by scholars for decades there is still "no agreement among scholars about what postfeminism means. The term is used variously and contradictorily to signal a theoretical position, a type of feminism after the Second Wave, or a regressive political stance".[11]

Gill states that postfeminism should be thought of as "a sensibility", that is it should be acknowledged to be the cultural mood regarding gender that pervades Western countries in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. According to Gill, this sensibility is characterised by:

  • An obsessive preoccupation with the body
  • The pervasive sexualisation of contemporary culture
  • The shift from women being portrayed as submissive, passive objects, to being portrayed as active, desiring sexual subjects
  • The preeminence of notions of choice, 'being oneself' and 'pleasing oneself'
  • A focus on self-surveillance and discipline
  • A makeover paradigm
  • The reassertion of sexual difference
  • Media messages that are characterised by irony and knowingness[10]

As well as these characteristics, the postfeminist sensibility as defined by Gill is notable for “the entanglement of both feminist and anti-feminist themes”[10] in contemporary culture and in media discourses.

In a postfeminist society, Gill writes:

“feminism is now part of the cultural field… Feminist-inspired ideas burst forth from our radios, television screens and print media in TV...
However, it would be entirely false to suggest that the media has somehow become feminist and has adopted unproblematically a feminist perspective... In this postfeminist moment… feminist ideas are simultaneously, as Judith Stacey (1987) put it, 'incorporated, revised and depoliticised', and – let us add here – attacked.
What makes contemporary media culture distinctively postfeminist, rather than pre-feminist or anti-feminist is precisely this entanglement of feminist and anti-feminist ideas… A certain kind of liberal feminist perspective is treated as common sense, while at the same time feminism and feminists are constructed as harsh, punitive and inauthentic, not articulating women's true desire.”[12]

Sexualisation of culture[edit]

A significant contribution of Gill's research is in debates concerning the sexualisation of culture. She defines sexualisation as both "the extraordinary proliferation of discourse about sex and sexuality across all media forms" as well as "the increasingly frequent erotic presentation of girls', women's and men's bodies in public spaces".[13]

During 2010 and 2011, Gill hosted an ESRC seminar series entitled, Pornified? Complicating the debates about the sexualisation of culture.[14] The series featured artists, academics, policy -makers and activists presenting different aspects of contemporary concerns about 'sexualisation'.

In her writing she has explored how this sexualisation of culture has led to both female empowerment and new, and more pernicious, forms of sexism.[15] She argues that in such a sexualised culture women are forced to become sexual entrepreneurs,[16] responsible for "producing themselves as desirable, heterosexual subjects, as well as pleasing men sexually, protecting against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, defending their own sexual reputations and taking care of men's self-esteem. Men, by contrast, are hailed as hedonists just wanting a 'shag'."[17]

In her writing, Gill also examines case studies of contemporary examples of sexualisation of culture, from advertisements featuring David Beckham's naked body,[18] T-shirts featuring sexual slogans,[19] sex and relationship advice columns in women's magazines, and the sexualisation of women in advertising.[15]

Gill is currently working on a Marsden project for the Royal Society exploring how "tween" (9-12-year-old) girls negotiate life in an increasingly sexualised culture.[1]

Public engagement[edit]

Gill has received funding from and worked on projects commissioned by the Arts Council, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), The British Academy (BA), The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the European Commission and the United Nations (both UNESCO and the UNCSW.[1]

Selected Publications[edit]

Journal articles[edit]

Books[edit]

  • Gill, Rosalind; Grint, Keith Eds (1995). The gender-technology relation: contemporary theory and research. London Bristol, PA: Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9780748401611. 
  • Gill, Rosalind (2007). Gender and the media. Cambridge, UK Malden, MA, USA: Polity. ISBN 9780745612737. 
  • Gill, Rosalind (2008). Discourse analysis text, narrative and representation. City: Open University Press. ISBN 9780335217342. 
  • Gill, Rosalind; Ryan-Flood, Róisín (2010). Secrecy and silence in the research process: feminist reflections. London: Routledge. ISBN 9780415605175. 
  • Gill, Rosalind; Scharff, Christina (2011). New femininities: postfeminism, neoliberalism, and subjectivity. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9780230223349. 
  • Banks, Mark; Gill, Rosalind; Taylor, Stephanie Eds (2013). Theorizing cultural work: labour, continuity and change in the cultural and creative industries. Abingdon, Oxon: Routldge. ISBN 9780415502337. 

Chapters in books[edit]

  • Gill, Rosalind; Grint, Keith (1995), "Introduction – the gender-technology relation: contemporary theory and research.", in Gill, Rosalind; Grint, Keith, The gender-technology relation: contemporary theory and research, London Bristol, PA: Taylor & Francis, pp. 1–28, ISBN 9780748401611 
  • Gill, Rosalind (2003), "Power and the production of subjects: a genealogy of the New Man and the New Lad.", in Benwell, Bethan, Masculinity and men's lifestyle magazines, Oxford, UK Malden, MA, USA: Blackwell Publisher/Sociological Review, pp. 34–56, ISBN 9781405114639  pdf version Gender Institute, London School of Economics.
  • Gill, Rosalind (2010), "Breaking the silence: the hidden injuries of the neoliberal university.", in Gill, Rosalind; Ryan-Flood, Róisín, Secrecy and silence in the research process: feminist reflections, London: Routledge, pp. 228–244, ISBN 9780415605175 
  • Gill, Rosalind; Harvey, Laura (2011), "Spicing it up: sexual entrepreneurs and the sex inspectors.", in Gill, Rosalind; Scharff, Christina, New femininities: postfeminism, neoliberalism, and subjectivity, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 52–67, ISBN 9780230223349 
  • Gill, Rosalind (2011), "Bend it like Beckham: the challenges of reading gender and visual culture.", in Reavey, Paula, Visual methods in psychology: using and interpreting images in qualitative research, Hove, East Sussex New York: Psychology Press Routledge, pp. 29–42, ISBN 9780415483483 
  • Gill, Rosalind (2011), "Lad flicks: discursive reconstructions of masculinity in popular film.", in Radner, Hilary; Stringer, Rebecca, Feminism at the movies: understanding gender in contemporary popular cinema, Oxon New York: Routledge, ISBN 9780415895880 
  • Gill, Rosalind; Donaghue, Ngaire (2013), "Agency, sex and postfeminism.", in Madhok, Sumi; Phillips, Anne; Wilson, Kalpana, Gender, agency, and coercion, Basingstoke, Hampshire New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 9780230300323 

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "King's College London – Professor Rosalind Gill". KCL.ac.uk. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  2. ^ Gill, Rosalind (2007). Gender and the media. Cambridge, UK Malden, MA, USA: Polity. p. viii. ISBN 9780745612737. 
  3. ^ "Rosalind Gill on Sexualization, Gender, Cultural Labor, and Academics". culturalstudies.podbean.com. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "Rosalind Gill at SexMoneyMedia – Women in View : Women in View". Womeninview.ca. 3 September 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "culturalstudies " Blog Archive " Rosalind Gill on Sexualization, Gender, Cultural Labor, and Academics". Culturalstudies.podbean.com. 1 May 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  6. ^ Gill, Rosalind (2007). Gender and the media. Cambridge, UK Malden, MA, USA: Polity. ISBN 9780745612737. 
  7. ^ Gill, Rosalind; Grint, Keith Eds (1995). The gender-technology relation : contemporary theory and research. London Bristol, PA: Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9780748401611. 
  8. ^ Gill, Rosalind (2008). Discourse analysis text, narrative and representation. City: Open University Press. ISBN 9780335217342. 
  9. ^ Gill, Rosalind; Ryan-Flood, Róisín (2010). Secrecy and silence in the research process: feminist reflections. London: Routledge. ISBN 9780415605175. 
  10. ^ a b c Gill, Rosalind (May 2007). "Postfeminist media culture: Elements of a sensibility". European Journal of Cultural Studies (Sage Publishing) 10 (2): 147–166. doi:10.1177/1367549407075898. 
  11. ^ Gill, Rosalind (May 2007). "Postfeminist media culture: Elements of a sensibility". European Journal of Cultural Studies (Sage Publishing) 10 (2). doi:10.1177/1367549407075898.  p. 148
  12. ^ Gill, Rosalind (May 2007). "Postfeminist media culture: Elements of a sensibility". European Journal of Cultural Studies (Sage Publishing) 10 (2). doi:10.1177/1367549407075898.  p. 161
  13. ^ Gill, Rosalind (May 2007). "Postfeminist media culture: Elements of a sensibility". European Journal of Cultural Studies (Sage Publishing) 10 (2). doi:10.1177/1367549407075898.  p. 150
  14. ^ "Pornified? Complicating the debates about the sexualisation of culture: An international conference.". Pornified? Seminar series home. 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  15. ^ a b Gill, Rosalind (February 2008). "Empowerment/sexism: Figuring female sexual agency in contemporary advertising". Feminism & Psychology (Sage Publishing) 18 (1): 35–60. doi:10.1177/0959353507084950. 
  16. ^ Gill, Rosalind (November 2009). "Mediated intimacy and postfeminism: a discourse analytic examination of sex and relationships advice in a women's magazine". Discourse & Communication (Sage Publishing) 3 (4): 345–369. doi:10.1177/1750481309343870. 
  17. ^ Gill, Rosalind (May 2007). "Postfeminist media culture: Elements of a sensibility". European Journal of Cultural Studies (Sage Publishing) 10 (2): 151. doi:10.1177/1367549407075898. 
  18. ^ Gill, Rosalind (2011), "Bend it like Beckham: the challenges of reading gender and visual culture.", in Reavey, Paula, Visual methods in psychology: using and interpreting images in qualitative research, Hove, East Sussex New York: Psychology Press Routledge, pp. 29–42, ISBN 9780415483483 
  19. ^ Yoshie Furuhashi (25 August 1996). "Rosalind Gill, "From Sexual Objectification to Sexual Subjectification: The Resexualisation of Women's Bodies in the Media"". Mrzine.monthlyreview.org. Retrieved 6 June 2013.