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Female bestsellers: A cross-national study of gender inequality and the popular–highbrow culture divide in fiction book production, 1960–2009

Female bestsellers: A cross-national study of gender inequality and the popular–highbrow culture... This article studies trends in gender inequality in the domain of fiction books between 1960 and 2009 in France, Germany and the United States by analysing bestseller lists and literary award winners. It is argued that gender inequality is larger in fields or genres where more status is at stake for individual agents, as this causes an influx of men who then ‘edge’ women out of the field. The study finds evidence for this mechanism, as the presence of female authors in bestseller lists (exponent of the popular culture system) is larger than that among literary award winners (highbrow culture system) in all three countries. Cross-national differences are consistent (US smallest inequality, France largest), emphasizing the importance of field characteristics in explaining social inequalities in cultural production. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Journal of Communication SAGE

Female bestsellers: A cross-national study of gender inequality and the popular–highbrow culture divide in fiction book production, 1960–2009

European Journal of Communication , Volume 27 (4): 15 – Dec 1, 2012

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References (63)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2012
ISSN
0267-3231
eISSN
1460-3705
DOI
10.1177/0267323112459433
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article studies trends in gender inequality in the domain of fiction books between 1960 and 2009 in France, Germany and the United States by analysing bestseller lists and literary award winners. It is argued that gender inequality is larger in fields or genres where more status is at stake for individual agents, as this causes an influx of men who then ‘edge’ women out of the field. The study finds evidence for this mechanism, as the presence of female authors in bestseller lists (exponent of the popular culture system) is larger than that among literary award winners (highbrow culture system) in all three countries. Cross-national differences are consistent (US smallest inequality, France largest), emphasizing the importance of field characteristics in explaining social inequalities in cultural production.

Journal

European Journal of CommunicationSAGE

Published: Dec 1, 2012

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