Master of Mass Communication (MMC)
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.
Document Availability at the Time of Submission
Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.
Roussell, Stephanie Ortego, "An analysis of femininity : how popular female characters in the media portray contemporary womanhood" (2013). LSU Master's Theses. 3089.