Identifier

etd-04092013-114158

Degree

Master of Mass Communication (MMC)

Department

Mass Communication

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

The impact of the media on adolescent girls has received greater theoretical, legal and societal focus over the last few decades. Several studies link the development of women’s gendered identities, healthy sexual activity and self-efficacy to how the media portray women. Restrictive or unrealistic themes of womanhood or femininity in the media can impact a young girl’s social construction of identity and provide limited examples of what it means to be a woman in today’s society. This study qualitatively examines femininity in contemporary media by analyzing—via textual analysis and focus groups—how popular female characters embody, portray and promote different conceptualizations of femininity. Do these characters portray more traditional styles of femininity? Or do they embrace the gains of Third Wave feminism and promote more contemporary versions of femininity? Results suggest a shift toward contemporary femininity, but also reveal lingering stereotypes in a character’s emotional and cultural behaviors.

Date

2013

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Lundy, Lisa

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