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Title: Its Prohibitive Cost: The Bicycle, the New Woman and Conspicuous Display.
Authors: 陳音頤
Chen, Eva
Contributors: 英文系
Keywords: Bicycle;new woman;Victorian material culture;George Gissing;‘Daughter of the Lodge;' Grant Allen;the type-writer girl
Date: 2016
Issue Date: 2017-04-26 16:51:08 (UTC+8)
Abstract: As a Victorian form of transport, the bicycle is often linked with the New Woman and hailed as a harbinger of emancipation and public mobility for women, or a tool for female sartorial reform and physical improvement. This paper argues that until the end of the nineteenth century, the bicycle, with its high cost and its association with the younger members of the upper-middle class, is also a tool of conspicuous consumption and fashionable display. As a crucial accessory of the much advertised, ridiculed but also emulated ensemble that constitutes the New Woman, the bicycle signifies her complicity with modern commodity culture, which, though entailing more opportunities and greater emancipation along gender lines for many bourgeois women, at the same time functions as a new marker of visible class privilege denying access to other less privileged women. This paper locates the bicycle, in its initial stage of the mid-1890s bicycle craze, as an integral part of a wider late Victorian material culture of conspicuous consumption and phantasmagoria where commodities, objects and spectacles increasingly articulate or fashion human subjectivities and denote their classed identities.
Relation: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture (Australia), Vol.64.1, No.1, pp.1-17
Data Type: article
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Appears in Collections:[英國語文學系] 期刊論文

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