JANICE RADWAY READING THE ROMANCE PDF

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No eBook available Amazon. Read full review. Janice A. Account Options Sign in. My library Help Advanced Book Search. Get print book. Shop for Books on Google Play Browse the world's largest eBookstore and start reading today on the web, tablet, phone, or ereader. Originally published in , Reading the Romance challenges popular and often demeaning myths about why romantic fiction, one of publishing's most lucrative categories, captivates millions of women readers.

Among those who have disparaged romance reading are feminists, literary critics, and theorists of mass culture. They claim that romances enforce the woman reader's dependence on men and acceptance of the repressive ideology purveyed by popular culture.

Radway questions such claims, arguing that critical attention "must shift from the text itself, taken in isolation, to the complex social event of reading.

Radway's provocative approach combines reader-response criticism with anthropology and feminist psychology. Asking readers themselves to explore their reading motives, habits, and rewards, she conducted interviews in a midwestern town with forty-two romance readers whom she met through Dorothy Evans, a chain bookstore employee who has earned a reputation as an expert on romantic fiction.

Evans defends her customers' choice of entertainment; reading romances, she tells Radway, is no more harmful than watching sports on television. Indeed, Radway found that while the women she studied devote themselves to nurturing their families, these wives and mothers receive insufficient devotion or nurturance in return.

In romances the women find not only escape from the demanding and often tiresome routines of their lives but also a hero who supplies the tenderness and admiring attention that they have learned not to expect.

The heroines admired by Radway's group defy the expected stereotypes; they are strong, independent, and intelligent.

That such characters often find themselves to be victims of male aggression and almost always resign themselves to accepting conventional roles in life has less to do, Radway argues, with the women readers' fantasies and choices than with their need to deal with a fear of masculine dominance.

These romance readers resent not only the limited choices in their own lives but the patronizing atitude that men especially express toward their reading tastes. In fact, women read romances both to protest and to escape temporarily the narrowly defined role prescribed for them by a patriarchal culture. Paradoxically, the books that they read make conventional roles for women seem desirable.

It is this complex relationship between culture, text, and woman reader that Radway urges feminists to address. Romance readers, she argues, should be encouraged to deliver their protests in the arena of actual social relations rather than to act them out in the solitude of the imagination.

In a new introduction, Janice Radway places the book within the context of current scholarship and offers both an explanation and critique of the study's limitations. From inside the book. Publishing Romantic Fiction. Radway Limited preview - Radway Snippet view - Radway No preview available - Bibliographic information.

Literary Criticism. Radway University of North Carolina Press , - Literary Criticism - pages 1 Review Originally published in , Reading the Romance challenges popular and often demeaning myths about why romantic fiction, one of publishing's most lucrative categories, captivates millions of women readers.

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Reading the Romance

Radway plainly states that simply reducing the practice of book buying to a relationship between the book and its audience leaves out the institutional and economic concerns of book publish and distribution. Radway summarizes the history of romance novel publishing in the United States, concluding that economic demands dictated a system in which ideal audiences for novels were selected ahead of time rather than engage in complex and expensive advertising. Publishers set out to create lines of novels that were known quantities among these groups, controlling the production and creating a set formula that was facilitated by new binding and production technologies allowing for more books to be published faster. The goal with these lines was to reduce uncertainty and increase the predictability of sales without having to find a new audience for each book - if women knew what to expect from the line of novels, they would know what to expect from the new one. This essentially turned romance novels into a commodity, unlike more traditional forms of literature sold through traditional revenues.

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Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature

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Reading The Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature

Janice A. Originally published in , Reading the Romance challenges popular and often demeaning myths about why romantic fiction, one of publishing's most lucrative categories, captivates millions of women readers. Among those who have disparaged romance reading are feminists, literary critics, and theorists of mass culture. They claim that romances enforce the woman reader's dependence on men and acceptance of the repressive ideology purveyed by popular culture. Radway questions such claims, arguing that critical attention "must shift from the text itself, taken in isolation, to the complex social event of reading. Radway's provocative approach combines reader-response criticism with anthropology and feminist psychology. Asking readers themselves to explore their reading motives, habits, and rewards, she conducted interviews in a midwestern town with forty-two romance readers whom she met through Dorothy Evans, a chain bookstore employee who has earned a reputation as an expert on romantic fiction.

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