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The Contradictions of Culture Cities, Culture, Women by Elizabeth Wilson

The Contradictions of Culture Cities, Culture, Women

Part of the Published in association with Theory, Culture & Society Series


The Contradictions of Culture Cities, Culture, Women by Elizabeth Wilson

In this book, one of the most accomplished and thoughtful cultural commentators of the day, considers the contradictory nature of cultural relations. Elizabeth Wilson explores these themes through an examination of fashion, feminism, consumer culture, representation and postmodernism. Debates within feminism on the nature and effects of pornography are used to illustrate a particular kind of cultural contradiction. Wilson recognizes that postmodernism permitted the reappropriation of subjects that were not previously considered worthy of attention, or opposed to the idea of emancipation, chief among these was fashion. She shows that the association of an interest in this culturally significant subject with a revisionist project raises doubts about the coherence of postmodernism itself.


Elizabeth Wilson is one of the most incisive and critical commentators on the contemporary scene. This excellent book brings together several of her most fascinating essays and frames them within a compelling overview of cultural politics. -- Jim McGuigan

About the Author

An independent researcher and writer best known for her commentaries on feminism and popular culture, Elizabeth Wilson is currently Visiting Professor at the London College of Fashion. She is the author of several non-fiction books. Her novel The Twilight Hour is also published by Serpent’s Tail.

‘My family was involved in running the British Empire in increasingly lowly positions sliding slowly down the social scale. They felt quite dislocated after WW II and my mother led a very marginal existence. Perhaps because of this she had me educated at St Paul’s Girls’ School, where I encountered a completely different world of the Jewish and non Jewish intelligentsia, and then at Oxford. Possibly because of the discrepancy between home background and sophisticated educational milieu I was extremely rebellious. I trained as a psychiatric social worker because of an interest in psychoanalysis, but throughout 10 years working in the field I was repelled by its conservative ethos and morality and eventually escaped to a polytechnic. But this time I was involved in Gay Liberation and the Women’s Movement, which defined the 1970s for me. In the 1980s I became a lesbian co-parent and later a parent governor at Camden School for Girls. Beginning in the mid-70s I wrote a number of polemical/academic works about women, and then shifted into an interest in fashion and dress (I am currently Visiting Professor at the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts, London). For some years I was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain, but am now a Green Party member. I am currently working on another novel and also on a book about the necessity of atheism.’

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Book Info

Publication date

15th December 2000


Elizabeth Wilson

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Author's Website


SAGE Publications Inc


192 pages


Cultural studies
Feminism & feminist theory



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