"Double crap. Am I in trouble?" : Makt, vetande och njutning i Fifty Shades of Grey

Detta är en Magister-uppsats från Umeå universitet/Institutionen för kultur- och medievetenskaper

Sammanfattning: The Fifty Shades-trilogy by E. L. James has become a cultural phenomenon, and is widely debated as such. The main issue of the debate is often concerning the story’s relation to women’s position in society. Common standpoints are that it is either contributing to women’s sexual liberation or that it perpetuates violence against women. The story is also considered to be of poor literary quality. In my thesis, I seek for approaches to understand the story beyond polarisation. I am performing a reparative reading of the first novel of the trilogy, Fifty Shades of Grey, through Michel Foucault’s notions of knowledge, power and pleasure. The purpose is to examine how these work in relation to each other, and how they relate to the presentation of sexuality and subjectivity in the novel. Furthermore, I engage in dialogue with previous research on Fifty Shades in the feminist field. In my analysis, I illustrate how knowledge, power and pleasure are synergetic and under constant negotiation. They are woven together and move between characters, laying the foundation for the subjects and their sexualities. I demonstrate how the power relations operate in multiple directions between Christian, Ana and Ana’s friend Kate, which is something that Ana shows awareness of. Further, I find that a conflict between mind and body occurs. Ana assumes the position of the knowing subject, through which she approaches corporality, and thereby gains new independence. Finally, I reflect on corporality’s intrusion of language in relation to the (de)valuation of the literary quality of the novel. As a question to bring to future studies, I ask whether the reading of Fifty Shades of Grey might be understood as consumption of body rather than consumption of literature, sexism or heteronormativity.

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