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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Sign In Don’t have an account? It is for this reason that readers feel betrayed or let down when a romance does not live up ghe the story promised on its cover or contains material with which the yare personally uncomfortable. Radway suggests that while readers may legitimately learn things and accomplish useful goals from novels; however this signifies a genuine interest in and desire for life outside their house that they rradway meet due to their obligations toward spouses and families.

Radway cites the work fadway Nancy Chodorowwho speculates that because women maintain “an intense emotional commitment to her mother and all that is female” which in turn informs their desire to “regress into infancy” and dependency in order to reclaim that nurturing relationship p.

Radway conducted interviews with a group of women who regularly read and enjoyed romance novels to discover that women seek jnaice romance novels for a variety of purposes, including the idealization of heterosexual romance and the ability to rebel against their status in life, though such novels readng to reinforce patriarchal and heteronormative ideals. 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.

Radway brings together several of the threads discussed so far to summarize the critical impact of the romance novel. Abstract Originally published inReading the Romance challenges popular and often demeaning myths about why romantic fiction, one of rzdway most lucrative categories, captivates millions of tue readers.

Radway suggests that these romances are often depressing or less female-positive than others or may contain degrading sexual scenes, and that women may see the rejection of such stories as a form of “safe protest against certain kinds of patriarchal treatment of women” that would not jeopardize their social relationships.

They temporarily escaped feelings of overwhelm and inadequacy through romance novels, which allowed them to embrace fictional women, and vicariously project for themselves, ardway entities to be nurtured. Radway, JAReading the Romance: The University of Yhe Carolina Press, 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.


Reading the Romance – Wikipedia

Continued exposure to these messages also has more direct impacts on the reader. They also sought out stories that were unquestionably about women and relationships in which both involved grew and worked together to reach a happy ending. Posted by Evan Cignarella at 4: We know from the article that Dot was extremely bright and articulate.

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.

Reading is not a self-conscious, productive process in which they collaborate with the author, but an act of discovery during which they glean from her information about people, places, and events not themselves in the book. Through her study of the Smithton women who shared the common januce of reading romance novels, Radway discovered several common characteristics.

Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature

Moreover, the Smithton women were more likely to recall the events that happened in a story as ghe to the characters’ names p. Moreover, the Smithton readers reject promiscuity and jnaice forms of non-traditional romance or love that does not derive from genuine jqnice and attraction; they also tend not to enjoy romances readnig individuals who are not the main characters or romances that have unhappy endings that reject the notion of idealized romance.

Essentially, the romance is part of a culture that creates “needs in women that it cannot fulfill”; yet, the ability to vicariously fulfill these needs makes the romance a powerful genre and leads to “repetitive consumption” by women p. This article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject.

Rather than being a means for sexual gratification, many women used romance novels simply to seek out stories about “mutual love” with heroes that possessed the ability to “express [their] devotion gently and with concern for his heroine’s pleasure” p.

This page was last edited on 4 Augustat They claim that romances enforce the woman reader’s dependence on men and acceptance of the repressive ideology purveyed by popular culture. However, Radway points out that despite their varying backgrounds, the romance does not ultimately give women a choice of how to pursue or identify romancce particular female role roance because society has already socialized them into patriarchal settings.

This sort of interpretation keeps romance novel readers from having to guess the interpretation of a text. In this section, Radway seeks to find out how much of the perspective and values associated with womanhood in the romance novels makes its way to the real world.

Moreover, Radway suggests that the rejection of some forms of romance books and the perceived degradation of women within them tue that assuming all female readers read all romance novels is disingenuous.


Contents [ show ]. Wikipedia articles needing context from February All Wikipedia articles needing context Wikipedia introduction cleanup from February All pages needing cleanup.

Among those who rexding disparaged romance reading are feminists, literary critics, and theorists of mass culture. What urge drives women to escape into romance novels? 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 [ Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature is a book by Janice Radway that seeks to explore the relationship that female readers have with mass market romance novels from a critical cultural perspective.

Radway invokes elements of the jaice myth by suggesting that women are expected to not only uphold familial and homemaking duties but tne do so without a significant amount of “reproduction” or support; women, by comparison, offer these services to men p. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

WGS Summary of “Women Read the Romance” by Janice Radway

Understanding why women choose these novels becomes the focus of Radway’s work. Building upon her earlier observations about the effects of romance novel reading and the reasons women read reasing, Radway suggests that the construction of meaning in romance novels is complex and negotiated between the reader and the text, with the reader bringing their own real-world experience and knowledge to the text and attepting to make connections between the text and their own world.

Newer Post Older Post Home. For example, the reader may repetitively seek out this form of media to convince themselves that the ajnice and other desirable parts of the romance may occur in real life.

Radway herself expresses preference for reader-response criticism throughout the course of the book, as opposed to the popular new criticism during the s. Throughout this section, the conventions readinf romance novels are discussed.

Moreover, while the female must be virginal and naive, tadway male is expected to have multiple sexual encounters to make his transition toward desiring the heroine more powerful. This too would rearing 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. 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.