|Neoliberal frames and genre of inequality: Recession-era chick flicks and male-centered corporate melodrama
|Year of Publication
|Negra, Diane, and Yvonne Tasker
|European Journal of Cultural Studies
|film, gender, neoliberalism
Media forms play a vital role in making cultural and political sense of the complex economic developments and profound ideological uncertainties which have accompanied the global recession. This article analyses how popular genre cinema tackles the inequalities – in particular, gender inequalities – that follow from the financial crisis, situating Hollywood’s representational strategies in the context of recessionary media culture. It posits and analyses two sub-genres which demonstrate different approaches to an altered socio-economic climate: the recessionary ‘chick flick’ and the corporate melodrama. Amid the financial crisis these sub-genres shift emphasis to respond to changing circumstances, notably in relation to the once-ubiquitous trope of choice central to post-feminist media culture; neoliberal choice rhetoric is now considerably harder to maintain. The two case studies contrast the different ways in which female-centred chick flicks and male-centred corporate melodramas address unemployment, downward mobility and the challenges of work–life balance.