Cultural, Linguistic and Literary Approaches to Narratives of Femininity
← 8 | 9 → Tiina Mäntymäki, Marinella Rodi-Risberg, Anna Foka
You may write me down in historyWith your bitter, twisted liesYou may trod me in the very dirtBut still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Maya Angelou: I’ll Rise
This collection of articles is about women who deviate from socially constructed norms of femininity. It is about actual or fictional women who, in their narrative portrayals, shake up their contemporary social order through their acts and life choices. The contributors to this volume show the insistence of these women, portrayed in sources from different times and cultures, to claim visibility and recognition in contexts where ‘woman’ denotes marginalisation and otherness. Thus, it is also about the production of knowledge beyond established and often male norms.
This volume embraces a revisionist project in that the contributions included in it produce (re)readings of narratives of femininities that highlight women’s strategies for navigating the world by way of subtle negotiation or violent refusal to conform to social requirements. The authors of this volume trace the cultural and societal backgrounds of how women become defined as deviant through discussions of gender, power, ideology, context and tradition. In their chapters, they (re)construct both readings of seemingly conformist femininity as narratives of deviance and break down existing, often well-established and influential narratives of deviant femininity. Thus, the contributions provide readers with a glimpse into a number of cultural and social practices and spheres where women have been and...
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