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The Rise of Neoliberal Feminism$
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Catherine A. Rottenberg

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190901226

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190901226.001.0001

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Back from the Future

Back from the Future

Turning to the “Here and Now”

(p.105) 4 Back from the Future
The Rise of Neoliberal Feminism

Catherine Rottenberg

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 examines two well-trafficked mommy blogs written by Ivy League–educated professional women with children. Reading these blogs as part of the larger neoliberal feminist turn, the chapter demonstrates how neoliberal feminism is currently interpellating middle-aged women differently from their younger counterparts. If younger women are exhorted to sequence their lives in order to ensure a happy work-family balance in the future, for older feminist subjects—those who already have children and a successful career—notions of happiness have expanded to include the normative demand to live in the present as fully and as positively as possible. The turn from a future-oriented perspective to “the here and now” reveals how different temporalities operate as part of the technologies of the self within contemporary neoliberal feminism. This chapter thus demonstrates how positive affect is the mode through which technologies of the self-direct subjects toward certain temporal horizons.

Keywords:   mommy blogs, neoliberal feminism, happiness, futurity, governmentality, confidence, happiness, work-family balance, neoliberalism, privilege

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