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Consuming Gender: Representations of masculinity and femininity in Disney.co.uk

Taberner, Holly (2010) Consuming Gender: Representations of masculinity and femininity in Disney.co.uk. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Theorists such as Butler (1985) and Foucault (1971) argue that language and texts available in everyday life seek to govern how we think of society and ourselves by constituting collective knowledge about a given category, in this case Gender. In this research, I argue that social problems, such as Anorexia, Sexism, Homophobia and Domestic Violence are, at least in some part, caused by a common sense view of gender, and the socialization of girls and boys into appropriate gender roles often begins from a young age. On these assumptions, the website http://home.disney.co.uk was analyzed using methodological contributions from both Foucauldian and Critical Discourse Analysis (outlined by Willig & Roger; 2008, and Wodak & Meyer; 2001 respectively). Findings suggest that whilst masculinity and femininity are constructed as binary opposites (for example the construction of girls as altruistic versus boys as violent), both men and women are constructed as consumers. Suggestions for future studies include the analysis of global corporations, both on and offline, for constructions of gender, as well as other categories such as sexuality, ethnicity and class, through which new directions from which to tackle gender inequalities can be found and new spaces for freedom of speech can be developed.

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