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 a leading commentator on culture, the city and feminism in the UK. She is currently Professor of Social Science at the University of North London.
PART ONE Introduction Incoherent Feminism The 1990s The Unbearable Lightness of Diana Feminist Fundamentalism These New Components of the Spectacle Fashion and Postmodernism PART TWO The Sphinx in the City Reconsidered The Invisible Fl[ci]aneur Afterward The Invisible Fl[ci]aneur Looking Backward Urban Nostalgia Writing the Romance of the Suburbs A Review of Literature Living Dolls Bricolage City Myths of Brighton Dogs in Space Notes on the Erotic City Against Utopia The Romance of Indeterminate Spaces