Emerald Publishing brings out 'fascinating' exposé on the lives of women in The Archers

News - Books Thursday, 10 January 2019

Gender, Sex and Gossip in Ambridge: Women in The Archers examines portrayals in Ambridge of 'love, marriage, and motherhood, female education and career expectations, women's mental health and the hard-won right of women to play cricket'


Emerald Publishing will publish a 'fascinating' exposé on the lives of the women in the Archers this spring. Gender, Sex and Gossip in Ambridge: Women in The Archers, by Dr Cara Courage and Dr Nicola Headlam, the same team who wrote Custard, Culverts and Cake: Academics on Life in The Archers. This new book will be out on 5 April in paperback, priced £14.99.

This time, the 'Archers Academics' are joined by BBC radio producer Alison Hindell, real-life Archer Charlotte Martin (Susan Carter) and others to examine 'the power of gossip in Ambridge, portrayals of love, marriage, and motherhood, female education and career expectations, women's mental health and the hard-won right of women to play cricket.'

'Through a series of themed contributions from members of the 'Academic Archers Community', Gender, Sex and Gossip in Ambridge gives the reader a deeper understanding of the real-life issues covered in the programme, an insight into the women of Ambridge, and validation that hours of listening to The Archers is, in fact, academic research.

'In a broader sense, it explores the important role of continuing dramas in framing the social realities of the day.

'Split into four distinct sections, Courage and Headlam explore all aspects of what it means to be a woman in Ambridge. The first section introduces the women of Ambridge to us with a particular focus on the character of Susan Carter, played by Charlotte Martin. Section two looks at the role of informal information networks (aka gossip) and the 'voice' of women in the village. Section three covers the gendered expectations of women within the home and the domestic gender politics on display, while section four moves beyond the home to question the way in which the show reflects norms around gender, sexuality, education and career opportunities with specific chapters on the playing of cricket and the scope for women in engineering.'

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