The Carnal Feminine: Consuming Representations of Womanhood in a Contemporary Media Text

Lorna Stevens, Pauline Maclaran

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section

10 Citations (SciVal)


This chapter is derived from a prior study we conducted that explored women’s identification with carnality and nature in contemporary television advertisements. To explore this identification, we drew on the age-old social and cultural underpinnings of this association in order to reveal and begin to understand what we argued was the ubiquitous conflation of womanhood with the body in Western media texts. Furthermore, we argued that media texts such as advertisements served as myth carriers that reinforced deep-seated cultural meanings and that these were indelibly imprinted on our collective cultural psyches. (For a more detailed discussion of the carnal feminine, refer to our earlier study: Stevens & Maclaran, 2008.) In the earlier study we debated whether or not we should be concerned about the all-pervasive “carnal feminine” in our culture, viewing it as an age-old discrimination against women (Paglia, 1992) or embracing it as symptomatic of a positive, postmodern “return to the body” in cultural studies and women’s studies. This latter perspective arguably serves to validate women’s bodies and thereby women’s lives (Davis, 1997). Building from the primary study, we now turn our attention to a different.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGender, Culture, and Consumer Behavior
EditorsCele C. Otnes, Linda Tuncay Zayer
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781136463495, 9780203127575
ISBN (Print)9781848729469
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • General Social Sciences
  • General Psychology


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