Date of Graduation

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Journalism

Advisor

Watkins, Patsy

Reader

DeCarvalho, Lauren

Abstract

Women are underrepresented in film. Racial minorities are underrepresented in film. White men are vastly overrepresented in film. How do these facts affect audiences that are so demographically different from what is portrayed onscreen? This study serves to examine how character representations in film relate to the demographics of the audience viewing them, and how these portrayals have changed over a 20-year span. Considering the depictions of women in the context of social gender movements of the last two decades will provide a deeper understanding of the attitudes toward female characters, as well as factors that shape the themes and representations that appear in the most popular films.

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