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Otrogen läsning: Debatter om feminina publiker 1808-1815
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History of Science and Ideas.
2014 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Gendered reading has a history of intense debate and negotiation. In this essay I will examine how feminine and masculine reading was construed in the early 19th century through three Swedish texts that all give a didactic, moral and instructive opinion about gendered reading. They consist of an advice manual, a collection of letters and a periodical featuring an assortment of suitable reading material, all published between the years of 1808-1815 and directed to a female audience. As the male sex was generally considered the invisible, desirable norm and the female sex tended to be viewed as deviant and problematic, gendered discussions are inclined to focus on the latter. I will argue that female reading is largely construed in relation to the bourgeois marriage while the male is construed in terms of citizenship. Many of the characteristics of reading women are thought to be shared by other reading audiences such as children, foreigners and the lower classes, and these feminine and often reprehensible traits permeate the ways our society discuss good and bad media publics. On a broader scale I will demonstrate how the assumed qualities in the female reader is part of a continuous and normative rhetoric concerning feminine media audiences which disqualifies their citizenship and excludes them from civil rights and self-governance. I argue that feminine audiences in all media debates are understood as physical, sexually promiscuous or violent, thus threatening the masculine social order and the bourgeois ideals of rationality, marriage and citizenship.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 34 p.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-215475OAI: diva2:687403
Available from: 2014-01-23 Created: 2014-01-14 Last updated: 2014-01-23Bibliographically approved

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