On May 15 2014, we officially launched GSRF. We were incredibly lucky to do so with a public lecture by the brilliant feminist sociologist Bev Skeggs. The lecture was followed by discussion and a wine reception.
Figures of fun, subjects of judgment in the making of proper persons
Since Francis Bacon’s sixteenth century ‘theory of monstrosity’ those with power have developed numerous symbolic methods to classify and judge the value of the powerless in order to force them to labour. For women judgment was usually based on their sexuality in relation to national propriety, purity and progress. The excessively sexual woman has both threatened and fascinated for centuries. This paper will explore how caricatures of female sexuality have developed over time ending with analysis from a recent research project on reality television, Reacting to Reality TV: Audience, Performance, Value, 2012. This research explores modern morality plays, where cartoon versions of this long history of judgment are spectacularly performed on our screens.
Beverley Skeggs is an ESRC Professorial Fellow in Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London. She has also worked in the areas of Women’s Studies and Cultural Studies. Her main publications include The Media (1992), Feminist Cultural Theory (1995), Formations of Class and Gender (1997), Transformations: Thinking Through Feminism (2000), Class, Self, Culture (2004), Sexuality and the Politics of Violence and Safety (2004, with Les Moran, Paul Tyrer and Karen Corteen), Feminism After Bourdieu (2004, with Lisa Adkins), and Reality TV and Class (2011) and Reacting to Reality Television: Audience, Performance and Value (2012) (both with Helen Wood). She is the co-editor of The Sociological Review.