Critical and Political Economy in the Media. First,

Critical
Reflection Paper

Introduction:

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            This assignment will be a reflection on the first three
chapters of the book, Sex & Money:
Feminism and Political Economy in the Media. First, I will analyse and reflect
on the essay Intersections and New Directions on Feminism and Political Economy
by, Eileen Riordan. I will try to better understand her main arguments regarding
feminisms place in the political economy, as well as identify the significance
of these arguments. I will then try to relate them back to my own life and
personal experiences. The second chapter I will be reflecting on is Feminist
Theory and Political Economy: Toward a Friendly Alliance by, H. Leslie Steeves
and Janet Wasko. Within this essay I will look to explore how the relationship
between feminist theory and political economy may have issues but in the end,
is desirable politically. The final chapter I will be reflecting on is
Something Old, Something New: Lingering Moments in the Un-Happy Marriage of
Marxism and Feminism by Lisa McLaughlin. This chapter will allow me to gain a
deeper understanding what it means to be in a ‘un-happy marriage’ and what that
means in regard to the relationship between Marxism and Feminism.

 

Chapter
One: Intersections and New Directions on Feminism and Political Economy

            This first chapter introduces the concept that feminist
communications scholars have neglected the political-economic debates due to the
fact that women have been excluded from the political and economic spheres. This
chapter aims to argue that there is a lack of active feminist media scholars
who attempt to analyze and understand how the day-to-day interactions and experiences
of women are connected to the societal structures of patriarchy and capitalism.
(Riordan, 2002). Riordan then suggests that there must be a push towards a
feminist political economy within communications. The purpose of this essay is
to create an understanding of how women’s lives are shaped by gender and
economics as well as how capitalism and patriarchy reproduce social injustices.
In regard to the political economy in communications, Riordan argues that in
order to understand capitalism, and its relationship to the daily lives of
people, political economists must focus on the meaning of consumption and that
consumption is an integral part of the reproduction of capitalism, class
inequalities and women’s oppression (Riordan, 2002). Riordan also writes about
feminism within communications, she says that gender is a complicated
construction of social factors such as; race, class, sexuality, ethnicity etc. Due
to the fact that gender is heavily linked to other social factors it is
difficult to clarify disposition of these roles (Riordan, 2002).

These
arguments are all connected to the concept that by inviting and encouraging
women to create discourses regarding how economics is demonstrated in their
daily lives will only further the understanding of the way capitalism works,
therefore creating a better understanding of the political economy. It is clear
that feminism has a place in the political economy especially in regard to
communications. The lack of women scholars within this field of study is
unfortunate, and is a direct result of their inability to connect with the
topics at hand. I believe that the lack of feminist representation within the political
economy and the study of capitalism is detrimental to my well-being as well as
my peers.

As
a woman, my beliefs and values are not being taken into consideration within
the political economy. Moving forward, in order to fully understand feminism and
its purpose within the political economy, women must take the necessary strides
to ensure we are accounted for and listened to. Beyond my personal academia I believe
that I can help to create awareness regarding the lack of feminist representation
in the political economy.

Chapter
Two: Feminist Theory and Political Economy: Toward a Friendly Alliance

            This chapter beings with an observation between both political
economists and feminists, Steeves and Wasko explain that both groups of people
promote theory and activism while addressing distributions of power and patterns
of inequality and oppression within society (Steeves & Wasko, 2002). It is
clear that this essay’s goal is to compare the differences and expose the areas
of overlap between feminist scholars and political economists (Steeves &
Wasko, 2002). The authors pay particular attention to the political economy’s
concern regarding survival and control while understanding how capitalist
societies are organized to maintain the necessities of survival (Steeves &
Wasko, 2002). The authors state that political economists focus primarily on economic
class as a concern, while feminists focus mainly on gender as the social division
to be addressed more specifically women’s oppression and what societal factors
lead to this oppression. 

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