"I Mean, That's Just Like the Rules of Feminism": Analyzing Postfeminist Trends and Psychological Correlates in Women

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dc.contributor.author Berkowski, Monisha Leonora
dc.date.accessioned 2017-06-15T18:31:52Z
dc.date.available 2017-06-15T18:31:52Z
dc.date.issued 2017-06-15
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10429/942
dc.description.abstract Gender inequality is a well-documented phenomenon in the United States as evidenced by the wage gap, large discrepancies in women holding positions of power, and the frequency with which women experience forms of gender discrimination and sexual harassment. Despite these discrepancies, women have made social, political, and personal gains in the last several decades. Based on these improvements, popular discourses have asserted that society now embodies ‘postfeminism,’ an era in which feminism is longer relevant to the lives of women. Although various critical frameworks have conceptualized postfeminism, there is a dearth of psychological research on the topic. The current study sought to investigate the validity of purposed postfeminist characteristics by testing a model of postfeminism and analyzing the attitudes and behaviors of young women. This model included three broad features: (a) attitudes toward gender-role orientation; (b) individualistic/meritocratic beliefs; and (c) sexualization. Finally, the current study sought to address discrepancies in the psychological literature regarding the psychological health benefits of feminist identification. The study intended to determine the psychological correlates of differing feminist identifications and values by analyzing self-esteem, depression, satisfaction with life, and empowerment. The results of the current study generally supported a model of postfeminism in which feminist self-identification could be reliably predicted by variables related to postfeminist and feminist beliefs, traditional feminine norms, especially those related to physical appearance and self-surveillance, individualistic/meritocratic beliefs, and sexualized behavior. This model seems to validate the phenomenon of postfeminism on an individual level. Women who were characterized as postfeminists were found to fall between feminists and nonfeminists on measures of postfeminist and feminist beliefs. They were found to hold more traditional gender- role norms at the same rate as nonfeminists, engage in more sexualized behaviors than feminists and nonfeminists, and hold higher meritocratic beliefs than feminists, on par with nonfeminists. Implication for these results, limitations, and directions for future research are further discussed. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Feminism en_US
dc.subject Gender-role ideology en_US
dc.subject Meritocratic beliefs en_US
dc.subject Postfeminism en_US
dc.subject Psychological correlates en_US
dc.subject Sexualization en_US
dc.title "I Mean, That's Just Like the Rules of Feminism": Analyzing Postfeminist Trends and Psychological Correlates in Women en_US

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