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Title: A cultural study of the comic : the 'female-centred' comedy of Victoria Wood and Jennifer Saunders
Author: Marshall, Jill
ISNI:       0000 0001 3619 6584
Awarding Body: University of Sunderland
Current Institution: University of Sunderland
Date of Award: 2003
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'The comic' - humour and comedy - plays a large part in all cultures, whether in literature, broadcast media texts or everyday language and practices. This thesis looks for ways in which the comic might begin to be consistently addressed as a distinct phenomenon within media and cultural studies, where little research is done which focuses on comic texts and practices. It uses this approach to begin a consideration and analysis of how comedy may be brought into the arena of gender politics. The first section of the thesis lays out existing theory concerning comedy and humour from a range of different disciplines which has been or can be incorporated into cultural theory. It identifies patterns in existing theories which can begin to form a coherent framework towards analysing the comic. The thesis then moves on to focus on 'female-centred' comedy - comedy largely written and performed by women - which problematises notions that comedy is somehow a'universal' or monolithic phenomenon. This focus allows some sustained examination of examples of the comic, which feminist theorists have tended to ignore, and its relevance to sexual politics. The thesis uses two textual case-studies, the 1980s and 1990s television work of British comedienne Victoria Wood and the 1990s British situation comedy Absolutely Fabulous written by Jennifer Saunders, in order to illustrate how the earlier theoretical framework may be applied to particular texts and to look at how female-centred comedy mobilises particular representations of women and femininity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available