||This project began as PhD research into the connections between Cleo magazine and second wave feminism in Australia in the 1970s. Indeed, it argues that Cleo magazine was a form of popular feminism. The research is now expanding to encompass a broader time-frame, exploring popular feminism as a theoretical and historical phenomenon in Cleo magazine from its inception in 1972 until the present.
The basic premise is quite simple: via popular media, such as a women's magazine like Cleo, feminism became a part of women's everyday lives, if not part of their 'identity'. The 'I'm not a feminist but' position so problematised by feminist theorists and so defiantly held by many 'ordinary' women (and their media) is not just a story of the '90s and now, but has a history that accompanied the second wave and beyond. The expansion of the intial project will involve ethnographic methods - interviews (as oral history and interviews with contemporary readers) - to paint a portrait of mediated or popular feminism.