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Title: Representation of teenage identity in DEFA films of the eighties and early nineties
Author: Mueller, Gabrielle.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3428 5874
Awarding Body: University of the West of England at Bristol
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2003
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This thesis examines the filmic representation of teenage identity in East German films which were produced in the late eighties and early nineties. Questions of 'identity' assumed a prominent position within the political and cultural discourses at the time of the Wende when the structures within East German society changed dramatically. Academic and public interest in the attitudes, values and the state of mind of the young generation in East Germany was immense because the analysis of the position of the young generation always reveals important facts about relations of power, ideological formations, and belief systems. This thesis looks at 10 films (many of which have not been the subject of academic study before) which have teenage protagonists at the centre of their narratives. It explores ways in which these films represented the young generation of the former GDR and, as cultural products, contributed to the construct of 'East German youth' within the public discourse. To provide the contextual framework for the analysis, the discourses on East German youth, DEFA, and GDR identity, are reviewed and developments within DEF A with regard to the production of films for a young audience are discussed. The close textual study analyses the representation of identification processes which are typical for teenagers, identifies and discusses salient motifs, themes, narrative devices, and stylistic choices. Common features, in particular the metonymic use of the concept of 'family', narrative perspective with regard to the target audience, and the film texts' interpretation of contemporary social developments are explored in detail and discussed within the context of the competing discourses at the time of the films' release. The analysis shows that the films captured key elements of the social and political transition in East Germany. It helps to trace shifts in the cultural discourse at an important juncture in recent German history and to put myths and simplifications about this period into context.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Literature