Advertising, Sex, and Post-Socialism explores the role of advertising and the consumption it promotes in changing cultural perceptions of sex and femininity across the Balkan region. Elza Ibroscheva theorizes how the marketing of gender identities that has taken place in the years of post-socialist transition has fundamentally affected the social, economic, and political positioning of women. Advertising is one of the major "factories" of cultural signification, and as such, serves as the most ubiquitous vessel of global norms of gendered selves. In addition, advertising serves as a literacy tool for learning the grammar of consumption, studying the ideologies of femininity and sex before and after the collapse of the socialist project, as well as the prevailing portrayals of femininity in advertising in present day Bulgaria. This book provides a revealing look at the mechanisms of how post-socialist norms of sexual behavior are being engendered, and what role media play in this transformative process.
Well-written, occasionally funny, yet scholarly sound, this Bulgarian story written with an insider's voice will dismantle for the reader myths about post/socialism and femininity, while offering alternative and surprising explanations and validations of human being's infinite capacity for imagination and survival.--Denise Roman, University of California, Los Angeles
Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: Sex? Please, We Are Socialist: The Ideology of Femininity and Sex during Socialism Chapter 3: Advertising and the Socialist Economy Chapter 4: Liberating Women: The Role of Media in Defining Femininity in the Post-Socialist Transition Chapter 5: Of vodka, Watermelons and Other Sexy Fruit: Advertising and the Objectification of Women in Bulgaria Chapter 6: Sex and Politics: Consuming Women's Bodies Chapter 7: Conclusion