Cooke, Maureen Lynch. “The Great Escape”, Boston College, 2006. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/418.
This thesis uses a cultural studies approach to study the contemporary "chick lit" genre. These novels written by women, for women may be dismissed as frivolous, but their immense popularity proves that they have tapped into a cultural tension. Their target readers are young women who have grown up in a post-feminist revolution society and face unique issues unknown to any other generation of women. Blending feminist, Marxist, and formalist theories, this thesis attempts to discover how this genre functions in contemporary society – what does it do to its readers? While trying to respect the readers at all times, this thesis will discuss the failure of the genre to provide a new space for women to escape to. The conclusion discusses the potential of chick lit to do more; the genre has captured a "zeitgeist" among young women and its popularity reaches a wide audience. In the future, chick lit could serve as a genre that discusses women's issues, prompting its readers to question gender roles, consumerism, and the global status of women.