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Since her late-1990s debut as a member of the R&B trio Destiny's Child, Beyonce Knowles has garnered both praise and criticism. While some consider her an icon of female empowerment, others see her as detrimental to feminism and representing a negative image of women of color. Her music has a decidedly pop aesthetic, yet her power-house vocals and lyrics focused on issues Since her late-1990s debut as a member of the R&B trio Destiny's Child, Beyonce Knowles has garnered both praise and criticism. While some consider her an icon of female empowerment, others see her as detrimental to feminism and representing a negative image of women of color. Her music has a decidedly pop aesthetic, yet her power-house vocals and lyrics focused on issues like feminine independence, healthy sexuality and post-partum depression give her songs dimension and substance beyond typical pop fare. This collection of new essays presents a detailed study of the music and persona of Beyonce--arguably the world's biggest pop star. Topics include the body politics of respectability; feminism, empowerment and gender in Beyonce's lyrics; black female pleasure; and the changing face of celebrity motherhood.


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Since her late-1990s debut as a member of the R&B trio Destiny's Child, Beyonce Knowles has garnered both praise and criticism. While some consider her an icon of female empowerment, others see her as detrimental to feminism and representing a negative image of women of color. Her music has a decidedly pop aesthetic, yet her power-house vocals and lyrics focused on issues Since her late-1990s debut as a member of the R&B trio Destiny's Child, Beyonce Knowles has garnered both praise and criticism. While some consider her an icon of female empowerment, others see her as detrimental to feminism and representing a negative image of women of color. Her music has a decidedly pop aesthetic, yet her power-house vocals and lyrics focused on issues like feminine independence, healthy sexuality and post-partum depression give her songs dimension and substance beyond typical pop fare. This collection of new essays presents a detailed study of the music and persona of Beyonce--arguably the world's biggest pop star. Topics include the body politics of respectability; feminism, empowerment and gender in Beyonce's lyrics; black female pleasure; and the changing face of celebrity motherhood.

51 review for Beyonc� Effect: Essays on Sexuality, Race and Feminism

  1. 4 out of 5

    McKenzie Richardson

    For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-CycleI received a copy of this book through LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review.Overall, it was a good book. It look me a while to get through because some of the essays are a bit dense, but overall it was good.The essays range in focus from celebrity motherhood and sexual pleasure to the politics of respectability and empowerment. I liked the various lenses that the contributors wrote through. Each had their own view and their own focus, whi For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-CycleI received a copy of this book through LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review.Overall, it was a good book. It look me a while to get through because some of the essays are a bit dense, but overall it was good.The essays range in focus from celebrity motherhood and sexual pleasure to the politics of respectability and empowerment. I liked the various lenses that the contributors wrote through. Each had their own view and their own focus, which made for an interesting read. For me, there were two minor downsides to the book. One was the grammatical errors. There are quite a few scattered throughout the text. For the most part, the message is still received, but I had to read certain sentences over again to make sure I got what the person was saying beyond the typo. For the most part, they were small errors such as using the plural form of a word instead of the possessive. Small inconvenience, but nothing too major.The other downside was that even though the essays all focus on different things, the examples they use are pretty much the same. Almost all of the essays referenced Beyonce performing in front of the Feminist sign and bell hooks calling her a "terrorist". Yes, these two things are huge in the discussion of Beyonce and feminism, but reading about them over and over again (along with many other examples) was very irritating. This is not the fault of any of the contributors as they would have no way of knowing what other people were writing, but it made the book pretty repetitive. Overall, this was a good read, especially for those interested in Beyonce and her brand of feminism. An interesting look into multiple perspectives of the same topic.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ricardo A.

    Amazing academic resource for a feminist/sociological/philosophical approach to the effects of Beyonce's art work/image within pop culture, academic discourse and the like. Amazing academic resource for a feminist/sociological/philosophical approach to the effects of Beyonce's art work/image within pop culture, academic discourse and the like.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    An interesting discussion (and microcosm) of the ways in which Beyonce has triggered conflict and conversations about black feminism.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Hunsinger

    I read this to teach it in an independent study. It provides some interesting insights into pop culture feminisms

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    I would like to thank netgalley and McFarland for a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. These essays' focus on the likes of feminism, race, gender and other topics surrounding Beyonce. The ideas presented are interesting and important. Some of the writing did go over my head and I did skim some of the work. I would like to thank netgalley and McFarland for a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. These essays' focus on the likes of feminism, race, gender and other topics surrounding Beyonce. The ideas presented are interesting and important. Some of the writing did go over my head and I did skim some of the work.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Casey

    I wish there were more books like this bringing astute academic minds to bear on popular cultural icons that are both changing & challenging our understanding of sex, race, performance, music, & gender. A fantastic collection of easy to read but rigorous criticism

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jack

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gulcin

  9. 4 out of 5

    Marissa

    I received an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley. I'll start this off by saying I am a huge Beyonce fan. But I also have to say that you do not need to be a fan of Beyonce to read this. The Beyonce Effect is a collection of academic essays on Beyonce and her effects not on just the music world, but the entire world around her. There has been a question as to whether Beyonce is a "good" representation of feminism. In the past I have heard both sides debate whether she represents feminism I received an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley. I'll start this off by saying I am a huge Beyonce fan. But I also have to say that you do not need to be a fan of Beyonce to read this. The Beyonce Effect is a collection of academic essays on Beyonce and her effects not on just the music world, but the entire world around her. There has been a question as to whether Beyonce is a "good" representation of feminism. In the past I have heard both sides debate whether she represents feminism fully. Obviously this is ridiculous. Just because she is a public figure does not mean that she needs to be representative to the feminist movement. However, she has taken this on in her music and performance choices, and as a feminist myself, I appreciate this. The essays cover a wide variety of topics regarding Beyonce. Race and Intersectionality in feminism are touched on throughout the book. The essays are in depth and extremely interesting to read. I would love to see an updated version since the release of her Lemonade album!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Anastasi

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ai

    I received a copy of this book via Netgalley. Having majored in film and television studies at university (with a slight obsession for stardom and celebrity culture), this book was bound to be something i could really sink my teeth into. And i certainly wasn't disappointed. The essays function as masterful autopsies into each facet of Beyonce's persona, exploring the manner in which she is able to perform a variety of oppositional roles (mother/vixen/black/icon/wife/feminist) while harnessing cross I received a copy of this book via Netgalley. Having majored in film and television studies at university (with a slight obsession for stardom and celebrity culture), this book was bound to be something i could really sink my teeth into. And i certainly wasn't disappointed. The essays function as masterful autopsies into each facet of Beyonce's persona, exploring the manner in which she is able to perform a variety of oppositional roles (mother/vixen/black/icon/wife/feminist) while harnessing cross cultural/musical appeal. Although this reads very much like an academic text, the writing isn't overtly technical so as to be inaccessible to the everyday reader. I really quite enjoyed reading this book, and the fact i was able to read it in snack sized pieces before bed or during my lunch break was definitely a bonu.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jack Bruno

  13. 5 out of 5

    Zyair Henderson

  14. 5 out of 5

    Angie

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sophie Tuahene

  16. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  17. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Giordano

  18. 5 out of 5

    McFarland

  19. 4 out of 5

    rachel krantz

  20. 4 out of 5

    Joss Madeleine

  21. 5 out of 5

    michelle

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dana

  23. 5 out of 5

    Hanna

  24. 4 out of 5

    John Plowright

    Since 2006, when Destiny’s Child broke up, Beyoncé has gone from being a member of a successful all-girl band to the centre of a seemingly unstoppable global brand whose private life is subject to as much unrelenting media speculation as her performances enthrall and her public pronouncements are minutely scrutinized. ‘The Beyoncé Effect’ edited by Adrienne Trier-Bieniek and subtitled ‘Essays on Sexuality, Race and Feminism’ nevertheless manages to shine a difficult kind of spotlight to that nor Since 2006, when Destiny’s Child broke up, Beyoncé has gone from being a member of a successful all-girl band to the centre of a seemingly unstoppable global brand whose private life is subject to as much unrelenting media speculation as her performances enthrall and her public pronouncements are minutely scrutinized. ‘The Beyoncé Effect’ edited by Adrienne Trier-Bieniek and subtitled ‘Essays on Sexuality, Race and Feminism’ nevertheless manages to shine a difficult kind of spotlight to that normally directed on Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter and there is no denying that the potency of ‘Queen Bey’ as cultural icon fully merits such detailed scholarly consideration. There is definitely a debate to be had on Beyoncé. To her admirers she is not only an outstanding singer-songwriter but an eloquent advocate in both her person and lyrics of feminism and other progressive causes, whilst critics charge her with naivety or even hypocrisy in colluding with a patriarchal industry and society, as epitomised by her relinquishing management by her father only to be managed by her husband, Jay-Z, instead. It might be objected that we’ve largely been here before insofar as Madonna was once hailed by some for encouraging women to embrace and express their sexuality, whilst others considered her exploitation of the male gaze actually represented an act of self-objectification. The case for Madonna was made by Camille Paglia when she wrote in 1990 that Madonna represented “the future of feminism” because she “taught young women to be fully female and sexual while still exercising total control over their lives”. By 2016, however, Paglia was castigating Madonna for her “embarrassing inability to deal with aging". It will be some time before Beyoncé needs to address that particular challenge but she’s already been charged (notably by bell hooks) with letting down women in general and African American women in particular by her alleged patriarchal romanticization of domination in relationships. It is greatly to the credit of ‘The Beyoncé Effect’ that so far from ducking such difficult questions it revels in confronting them and does so in a manner which is judicious and comprehensive covering the writing, production and distribution of Beyoncé’s music, dance, fashion, photography, social media and much else besides. At a time when the language of feminism has become so popular and so often debased - with the Spice Girls’ supposed ‘Girl Power’ representing a milestone (or millstone) in that process - ‘The Beyoncé Effect’ does an excellent job of illuminating precisely what is at stake. This is not to say that the book resolves every contradiction or removes every ambiguity. There will always be a very fine line, for example, between a woman like Bey “owning her sexuality” and pandering to male sexual fantasy but ‘The Beyoncé Effect’ provides writing of a very high standard which allows the reader to decide for themselves the extent to which Beyoncé succeeds, in addition to all her other accomplishments, in walking that particular tightrope.

  25. 4 out of 5

    kate

  26. 5 out of 5

    *book*lover*

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  28. 5 out of 5

    Katie

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alexandria

  30. 5 out of 5

    V

  31. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Bradley

  32. 4 out of 5

    Doreen Miller

  33. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Taylor-Cruz

  34. 5 out of 5

    Isa

  35. 4 out of 5

    Gwen

  36. 4 out of 5

    Brooke Byars

  37. 4 out of 5

    Emma

  38. 4 out of 5

    Nefertari

  39. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

  40. 4 out of 5

    Rochelle Webb

  41. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

  42. 5 out of 5

    Pam

  43. 4 out of 5

    Julia

  44. 4 out of 5

    J Collins

  45. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Heare Watts

  46. 5 out of 5

    Ted

  47. 5 out of 5

    Leland Lee

  48. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

  49. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Reader

  50. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  51. 4 out of 5

    Tessa Duvall

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