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Céline Morin

From Romance to “Pure relationship” ? The Loves of the US Series’ Heroines

Le Temps des médias n°19, Automne 2012, p. 159-171.

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Since the 1950s, American television series have explored the links between how love is depicted and women liberation movements. This article focuses on the heroines’ love-life as depicted in distinct phases ; if romanticism underlies all three of them, the asymmetry between men and women that results becomes increasingly problematic. Romanticism tends to lose ground to a new ideal : a ‘pure relationship’. In the 1950s, housewives were prone to dissatisfaction with their situation and serve as beacons of the first failures of romanticism ; two decades later, in the mid-1990s, single working girls, post-feminist figures considered love as a threat to their independence and fulfillment. More recently women in their forties, widowed or divorced, seek to overcome the contradiction between independence and love by actually practicing the ‘pure relationship’.

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