Susan J. Douglas

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Susan J. Douglas is a feminist academic, columnist, and cultural critic who writes about gender issues, media criticism and American politics. She has published five books on American history, and is currently Catherine Neafie Kellogg Professor of communication studies at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

She graduated from Brown University with a PhD.

Douglas is probably best known for her 1994 book Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media, which was selected as one of the top ten books of the year by National Public Radio, Entertainment Weekly magazine and The McLaughlin Group, and which Michiko Kakutani described in the New York Times as "provocative ... irreverent and sometimes very funny."

She penned Listening In: Radio And The American Imagination in 1999, a nostalgic look at the cultural impact of radio on American imagination, expressing concern over creative stagnation at the time, yet cautious optimism for radio's future. The book won the Sally Hacker Prize for exceptional scholarship that reaches beyond academia to a broad audience in 2000.

In 2010, her book Enlightened Sexism: The Seductive Message that Feminism's Work Is Done was published. In it, Douglas examines the evolution of the women in the media – the rise of depictions of power and success giving credence to the idea of feminism having fulfilled its aims, and of sexist old-style depictions of women as sex objects – and how these undermine women's status and equality.

She has written for The Nation, In These Times, The Village Voice, Ms. magazine, the Washington Post and TV Guide, and was media critic for The Progressive from 1992 to 1998. Her column “Back Talk” appears monthly in In These Times.


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Last modified: Wednesday, 18 July 2018