Dragon-slayers and Jealous Rats: The Gendered Self in Contemporary Self-help Manuals

Main Article Content

Rebecca Hazleden


This article traces two broad discourses concerning gender in a selection of relationship manuals from 1974 to 2004. On the one hand are manuals promoting traditional gender roles, and on the other are those that promote financial and emotional independence for women. In contrast to other analyses, I argue that these approaches cannot be categorised into a simplistic dichotomy of ‘feminist’ and ‘patriarchal,’ but that they are better understood as being bound up with conservative and liberal discourses of the self. I further demonstrate that these approaches both assume and require types of self that are somewhat removed from their historical antecedents and should be understood as neo variants.

Article Details

Articles (Peer Reviewed)
Author Biography

Rebecca Hazleden, University of Southern Queensland

Rebecca Hazleden’s research interests centre around self and identity, gender and sexuality, intimacy and popular culture. She has taught at universities in Britain, New Zealand and Australia, and she is currently at the Australian Catholic University.