Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Contamination and containment : representing the pathologised other in 1950s American cinema
Author: Hinchliffe, Alexander
ISNI:       0000 0004 2695 1672
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2010
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis examines the complex role played by film in the maintenance of an American “self” in opposition to a series of politically and culturally defined pathological “Others” in the 1950s. I reveal how popular imagery and political rhetoric combined to link domestic “deviants” such as juvenile delinquents, homosexuals, domineering or passive mothers and drug addicts with the Communist “Other,” portraying each as essentially pathological, an insidious and sickly threat to the health of the American home and family. By analysing case-studies within a wide-reaching and inter-connected cold-war media relay, underpinned by archival research that takes in newspaper and magazine journalism, television shows, government documents and medical journals, I uncover the ways in which film helped to maintain the visibility of the disenfranchised, as well contributing to their cultural surveillance and the discursive currency of the “pathological” Other. My study exposes the politics involved in medically attaching the term “diseased” to pre-existing domestic groups, and demonstrates how a culture maintains its guard against an invisible enemy. My thesis demonstrates that, across genres, American cinema embraced socio-medical tropes and disease metaphors in narratives that aimed to delineate friend from enemy and “self” from “Other” and in this way exposed fears and tensions that simmered beneath the supposedly placid surface of the 1950s.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN1993 Motion pictures