Love changes everything: The transformative potential of popular romantic fiction

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Abstract

This paper discusses the contribution cultural studies can make to a transformative, feminist adult education curriculum. It reports the findings of a case-study in which the study of popular romances was incorporated into an Access to Higher Education curriculum. Women participants identified the pervasive and potentially constraining influence of romantic discourses in the cultural products they regularly encountered and noted how aspects of their own lives were constructed in terms of these discourses. They developed strategies for imagining alternatives to the privileging of monogamous heterosexuality characteristic of popular romance, considered the structural factors contributing to the interplay of power within romantic relationships and reported changes in their personal and social lives resulting from their changed perspectives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-123
Number of pages15
JournalStudies in the Education of Adults
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 1999

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