Still not seduced

October 21, 2005

Having made good use of Angela McRobbie's analyses of magazines in gender terms, I was surprised by her condescension towards female undergraduates ("Cutting girls down to Victoria Beckham's size", Opinion, October 14) on the basis that they appear to be reading celebrity magazines.

Far from being "enthralled by the seductive power of the media", the young women I teach offer a view of women's magazines that is critical, politicised and reflective.

I am also perturbed by her social class assumptions. Presumably it is less worrying that students' low-income peers are reading Closer?.

I am more optimistic about the critical faculties of female students.

McRobbie's acceptance of the old "hyperdermic syringe" model of media influence might demonstrate her faculties are being blunted.

Julian McDougall

Newman College of Higher Education, Birmingham

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