Cover image for Reading Sex and the city
Reading Sex and the city
Akass, Kim.
Publication Information:
London ; New York : I.B. Tauris, [2004]

Physical Description:
xiii, 273 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
General Note:
TV tie-in.
Part I. Sex, sexuality and relationships -- "What's the harm in believing?" : Mr. Big, Mr. Perfect, and the romantic quest for sex and the city's Mr. Right / Joanna de Mattia -- The museum of unnatural history : male freaks and Sex and the city / David Greven -- Sexuality in the city / Mandy Merck -- Part II. Socio-sexual identities and the single girl -- Orgasms and empowerment : Sex and the city and the third wave feminism / Astrid Henry -- Sister Carrie meets Carrie Bradshaw : exploring progress, politics and the single woman in Sex and the city and beyond / Ashley Nelson -- Sex and the citizen in Sex and the city's New York / Susan Zieger -- Part III. Fashion and cultural identities -- 'Fashion is the fifth character' : fashion, costume and character in Sex and the city / Stella Bruzzi and Pamela Church Gibson -- Sex and the city : a fashion editor's dream? / Anna Konig -- 'My Manolos, my self' : Manolo Blahnik, shoes and desire / Sarah Niblock -- Part IV. Narrative, genre and intertextuality -- Neurotic in New York : the Woody Allen touches in Sex and the city / Tom Grachowski -- Sex, confession and witness / Jonathan Bignell -- Mr. Parker and the vicious circle : female narrative and humour in Sex and the city / Kim Akass and Janet McCabe -- Part V. Fandom, flanerie and desiring identity -- In love with Sarah Jessica Parker : celebrating female fandom and friendship in Sex and the city / Deborah Jermyn -- Through a glass, malarkey / Lucia Rahilly -- Outsiders in the city / Ashley Nelson -- Carried away in Manhattan / Kim Akass and Janet McCabe -- Coulda', shoulda, ' Prada : shopping for Satori and strappy sandals in Sex and the city / Mark W. Bundy.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN1992.77.S48 R42 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PN1992.77.S48 R42 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



HBO's hit series Sex and the City has a huge international fan base and has picked up major awards. This highly readable critical celebration of the life and times of Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha looks at the series as a new departure for television. It discusses the show's position in an increasingly complex television landscape, and pioneers innovative approaches to the study of contemporary television culture. The book explores, among many other issues, female fandom and fan culture; fashion and fashion journalism; male archetypes and the search for Mr. Right; third wave feminism; and of course, sex and the single girl. The book includes a full episode guide, reports from the Sex and the City Manhattan tour and a map of Sex and the City New York.

Author Notes

Kim Akass is Lecturer in Film Studies at London Metropolitan University. Janet McCabe is Lecturer in Film Studies at Trinity College, Dublin.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Sex and the City0 , with its trendsetting fashions and frank discussions about sex, has been iconic from the get-go, and these collected essays analyze its commentary about modern-day society.oanna di Mattia examines Carrie's reactions to her two most significant suitors, the sexually exciting Mr. Big and the romantically inclined Aiden. David Greven compares the strange guys the women often encounter to The X-Files0 "freaks of the week." Astrid Henry sees the women's enduring friendship as the biggest symbol of female empowerment in the show. "One of the most important themes is the value of female friendships and the role of these friendships in helping each of the . . . characters to understand herself and her life," Henry notes. And what book on Sex and the City0 would be complete without a mention of those famous Manolo Blahniks? Sarah Niblock examines the shoes' creator and their significance in an urban setting. Anyone who loves Sex and the City0 and appreciates how it reflects contemporary times will want to read these smart, accessible essays. --Kristine Huntley Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Although HBO's Sex and the City has won Emmy, Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe awards, film studies lecturers Akass and McCabe are peeved that some find the show a "'worthless pile of swill' with no cultural relevance." With this wide-ranging collection of essays, they set out to dispute that view, calling on various contributors to reveal the myriad ways of interpreting the show's plot and characterization. Sex's narrator, Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker), details the exploits of gal pals Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte, simultaneously exploring issues of sex, independence and relationships from a decidedly female perspective. The book's most heated debate centers on whether the overall image of women on the show is positive or negative. Are Carrie and company third-wave feminists who won't conform to a preconceived image of emancipation? Or are they enmeshed in a traditional yearning for Mr. Right? In the 21st century, according to most contributors, happy endings are relative. The book covers a wide array of topics, such as the symbiotic relationship between fashion and costume, and historical representations (by Woody Allen and Theodore Dreiser, among others) of single New York women. Some writers criticize the show's image of men and the instances of lesbian homoeroticism, claiming both detract from the celebration of women, sex and gay life. Others enjoy walking in Carrie's Manolo Blahniks. Most of the analysis is thought provoking, and the majority of the clearly written arguments allow readers to make the final judgment. Some viewers may not crave such scrutiny, but other fans will enjoy the added depth. Photos. (Mar. 1) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Library Journal Review

Finally, a respectable academic companion to a guilty pleasure. This collects 17 scholarly articles about the iconic HBO show Sex and the City and is a guaranteed page-turner for those who enjoy nothing better than a mesmerizing essay by Foucault, followed by a luxurious wallow in Vanity Fair. Both film studies professors, Akass (London Metropolitan Univ.) and McCabe (Trinity Coll., Dublin) have assembled a compilation of topical, interesting, and entertaining (for academia) writing about some of the dominant, nonviolent issues of our day. Topics covered range from representations of sexuality to the role of fashion as spectacle, male archetypes, the queer sensibility of the show, the narrative viability of the search for "Mr. Right," and the sources of Manolo Blahnik's inspiration. Truly, this is essential for the intellectual fashionista! Highly recommended for academic and large public libraries.-Andrea Slonosky, Long Island Univ. Lib., Brooklyn, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

List of Contributors
Regular Cast List and the Perfect Cosmopolitan
Sex, Sexuality and Relationships
What's the Harm in Believing?: Mr. Perfect/Mr. Big: Sex and the City's Commitment DilemmaJoanna di Mattia
The Museum of Unnatural History: Male Freaks and Sex and the CityDavid Greven
Sexuality in the CityMandy Merck
Socio-Sexual Identities and the Single Girl
Orgasms and Empowerment: Sex and the City and Third-Wave FeminismAstrid Henry
Can There Be Sex without Politics?: Sex and the Single GirlAshley Nelson
Sex and the Citizen in Sex and the City's New YorkSusan Zieger
Fashion and Cultural Identities
Fashion is the Fifth Character: Fashion Costume and Character in Sex and the CityStella Bruzzi and Pamela Church-Gibson
Sex and the City: A Fashion Editor's Dream?Anna Kouml;nig
'My Manolos, My Self': Manolo Blahnik, Shoes and DesireSarah Niblock
Narrative, Genre and Intertexuality
Neurotic in New York: The Woody Allen Touches in Sex and the CityTom Grochowski
Sex, Confession and WitnessJonathan Bignell
Ms. Parker and the Vicious Circle: Female Narrative and Humor in Sex and the CityKim Akass and Janet McCabe
Fandom, Flacirc;nerie and Desiring Identity
In Love with Sarah Jessica Parker: Celebrating Female Fandom and Friendship in Sex and the CityDeborah Jermyn
Flacirc;nerie, Sex and the City and Touring around Manhattan, (Including Map or Location Guide)
Through a Glass, MalarkeyLucia Rahilly
Outsiders in the CityAshley Nelson
Carried away in ManhattanKim Akass and Janet McCabe
Coulda, Shoulda, Prada: Shopping for Satori and Strappy Sandals in Sex and the CityMark W. Bundy
Map of Sex and the City Manhattan
Episode Guide
Film and TV Guide