Reading the Romance. Women, Piz~n’archy, a d Popular Lzterature. J A N I C E A.. R A D W A Y. With a Nav Intmductwn by the Author fiQ1). The University of. Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature [Janice A. Radway] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Originally. Women Read the Romance: The Interaction of Text and Context. Author(s): Janice A. Radway. Reviewed work(s). Source: Feminist Studies, Vol. 9, No.

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In this way the observer becomes important: Radway explains this further with this excerpt:.

Radway admits that the research she conducted has not provided a conclusive picture of romance reading patterns, as the Smithton women exhibited both signs of using the romance to reject their position in society and signs of becoming reaffirmed into societal expectations as a result of what ths read.

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Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature — Northwestern Scholars

This page was last edited on 4 Augustat This too would explain why so many of the readers admitted to reading the last page first – they wanted to be sure that the story upheld its bargain in upkeeping the valorous or mythic elements they were used to.

Moreover, Radway contends that most readers view the romance stories as part of a “single, immutable cultural myth” and the repetition inherent in such stories not as a negative characteristic but rather as part of what makes the stories enduring p.

So, Dot would say that the women of her generation gladly assumed a role in society with which they were satisfied initially, but once their fundamental needs for safety and security were met, they soon discovered their role did not nourish their growing needs for a healthy self-identity — concepts which arose after WWII and evolved as the country entered the social revolution of the s.

The women preferred stories with strong rkmance leads, which also reaffirmed traditional gender roles of male strength; at the same time, however, the men were not prized for their individual characteristics but rather for their role in relation to the heroine.


Retrieved from ” http: The heroines admired by Radway’s group defy the expected stereotypes; they are strong, independent, and intelligent. AB – Originally published inReading the Romance challenges popular and often demeaning myths about why romantic fiction, one of publishing’s most lucrative categories, captivates millions of women readers. Newer Post Older Post Home. Edison Aloysius July 3, reaing 6: Retrieved from ” https: Again, women use the books as a subversive influence or source of protest without fully understanding that these books are placed firmly within the patriarchy.

Reading The Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature

Thus, as America changed in the post war years, while Dot was raising her family, the needs of its citizens changed yet the social institutions had not kept pace. Because the romance portrays the successful outcome of a heroine’s union as the result of persoal choice or in some cases luckit negates the influence of “social and political institutions” on the role a woman plays in society and what is expected of her p.

While the focal point of the article was a study of how and why women escape their disappointments through fomance novels, the existence of novels was not to blame. University of North Carolina Press.

Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Publishers set kanice 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.

Reading the Romance is a book by Janice Radway that analyzes the Romance novel genre using reader-response criticismfirst published in and reprinted in Moreover, the Smithton readers reject promiscuity and other forms of non-traditional romance or love that does not derive from genuine commitment and attraction; they also tend not to enjoy romances involving individuals who are not the main characters or romances that have unhappy endings that reject the notion of idealized romance.

Essentially, Radway uanice, romance novels act as a “highly condensed version of a commonly experienced process of explanation, doubt, and defensive justification” that also allows women to “diversify the pace and readihg of their habitual existence” p. Women also often feel uncomfortable spending money on the romance novels though they recognize thw their husbands and family members spend money on their interests; the subject matter and imagery on the covers may also create what raday readers feel are false impressions that they are reading the books for sexual gratification.


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. Yet while there seems to be a lack of quality, this structure is not comprised due to laziness. Dot Evans was almost 50 years old romanec the s interviews were conducted by author Janice Radway.

It is for this reason that readers feel betrayed or let down when a romance does not live up to the story promised on its cover or contains material rsading which the yare personally uncomfortable.

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.

Reading the Romance – Wikipedia

The research and information present in many novels serves to make the readers’ interest in the novels more genuine to outside observers and also represents an opportunity to the reader to learn and expand their intellectual capacity and knowledge.

Contents [ show ]. Radway suggests that romance reading and writing “might be seen therefore as a collectively elaborated female ritual through which women explore the consequences of their common social condition [ Moreover, Radway suggests that the rejection of some forms of romance books and the perceived degradation of women within them suggests that assuming all female readers read all romance novels is disingenuous.

From the article, it was clear that Dot and her peers were unprepared for the arduous, and oftentimes unrewarding, work of the raxway.