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Title: Teenage girls and female television presenters : an ethnographic study of girls on representations of women in television
Author: Wayling-Yates, Amanda
ISNI:       0000 0004 5357 4788
Awarding Body: University of Roehampton
Current Institution: University of Roehampton
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis explores the way in which teenage girls form relationships with female television presenters and how they incorporate these images into their everyday living. Furthermore, it investigates the ways in which girls are able to use collective discussion to articulate their understanding of images of women within television texts. Drawing on my ethnographic research with a group of female teenage peers, I suggest that girls use conversations about female television presenters as a way of communicating with their peers, exploring ideas of femininity and scoping out the female landscape in preparation for their own adult lives. I argue that these female presenters are representational and are used as cautionary tales and not as aspirational role models. The focus group members demonstrate that they are knowledgeable about and cognisant with the ways in which and how the media addresses women. This contradicts commonly held assumptions about teenage girls as susceptible and easily manipulated by media images, and it also reveals a complex gendered interaction with media texts. The ‘friendships’ formed with female television presenters are a way of negotiating these girls’ teenage years, and they offer an opportunity to create a roadmap for their futures, express their anxieties and reflect nostalgically on the passing of their girlhood. Through focus group sessions, and adapting Wood’s (2009) text-in-action method, I found that my transcripts of the focus group discussions could be broken down into themes. The most commonly occurring set of terms, which appear also to anchor contemporary feminist research, are choice, empowerment, sexualisation, equality, liberation and individualism. The transcripts can also be characterised through the terms ‘disparagement’, ‘affectionate disparagement’ and ‘knowingness’. This research will discuss the ways in which such terms account for young girls’ negotiation of images of women on television. I have discovered that it is easy to underestimate the ability of young girls – they are constantly conflicted by the media images they experience and their own sense of identity, and they work hard at negotiating through this conflict.
Supervisor: Bainbridge, Caroline ; Nunn, Heather ; Biressi, Anita Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available