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The Marginalized Majority

Media Representation and Lived Experiences of Single Women

Kristie Collins

This book presents a cultural analysis of social discourses and lived experiences of single women, a demographic category that census figures indicate to be the statistical «norm» in the United States and Canada – and yet, it remains a group that largely sees itself as marginalized. While singleness and other forms of non-normative lifestyles have been gaining interest from academics and society at large, a distinct commitment to female singleness studies has yet to emerge.
Each chapter looks at distinct features of social constructions of female singleness and/or lived experiences of single women, and textual analyses and cultural critiques are used to develop a richer investigation of the data. The theoretical framework is grounded in a cultural analysis, not only using the concepts thematically to more clearly understand the data, but also calling into question the utility of the concepts themselves.


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This book is the culmination of more than ten years of research, gathered and written up during my studies and employment in three continents. As such, many people have influenced the development of this work, and I am eternally thankful to my family, friends and colleagues for their unwavering support over the years. First and foremost, I would like to express my gratitude to the Prince Edward Island women who participated in the focus groups and interviews. For their wit, their honesty, and their observations, I cannot thank them enough. I would also like to acknowledge the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) for providing me with meeting room spaces for focus groups and one-to-one interviews for my fieldwork. Sincere thanks, too, go to Dr. Ann Braithwaite, Coordinator of the UPEI Women’s Studies Program, who offered helpful advice and encouragement throughout this project. I am extremely grateful to friends and colleagues whose ideas and feedback kept this book moving forward—despite the inevitable twists and turns along the way. For their good counsel and great company, I would like to thank Dr. Emily Gray and Dr. Zoë Thompson who helped bring this study into focus in the early days. For their insightful comments and suggestions with manuscript drafts, profound thanks go to Professor Hideichi Eto and Dr. Kiyoko Magome. I am indebted to my colleagues, Dr. Noriko Suzuki, Dr. Herrad Heselhaus and Professor Hiroko Washizu for encouraging me to carry on with my work when I was stalling, and to...

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