Girls will be Girls: Discourse, Poststructuralist Feminism, and Media Presentations of Women

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Soza, Amanda
Discourse; Gender; Poststructuralism; Language; Subjectivity; Deconstruction; Communication; Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication; Social and Behavioral Sciences
thesis / dissertation description
This study examines presentations of women in the media through Foucauldian critical discourse analysis in order to explore dominant ideas of gender and femininity embedded within D/discourses that constrain the lived experiences of women. Specifically, this study explores the television show Girls as a text presenting particular knowledge of femininity. By engaging in an interpretive analysis of the ways femininity is presented in both public and private presentations of gender in Girls, I reveal how women make sense of past and negotiate future public performances of femininity in private. Further, I deconstruct a specific scene of Girls to reveal hidden meanings of femininity and expose how performing docility conforms with normalized expectations of being a woman. This study uses a poststructural feminist lens to critically inspect the suppressed meanings of gender within the text of Girls and offers hope for opening up multiple meanings of femininity within the D/discourses of gender and media.