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Title: Rethinking the norm : Judith Butler and the Hollywood teen movie
Author: Smith, Frances C. E.
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
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The thesis explores the construction of gender in the Hollywood Teen Movie, often perceived as 'the odious norm' of Hollywood cinema with little to warrant serious analysis.[1] Although Timothy Shary's work has done much to promote the genre as an area of academic enquiry, there have been few sustained textual analyses of the Teen Movie. Through close textual analysis of seven representative case studies, this thesis stages an encounter between Butler's work on gender and the Teen Movie. Butler’s theorisation of performativity denaturalises and deconstructs the assumption of heteronormativity, enabling a detailed analysis of the genre's 'sexual coming-of-age narrative'.[2] Further, the textual analyses complicate and augment aspects of her theories. Following a review of the literature on the Teen Movie, and an examination of Butler's oeuvre, the thesis is divided into three sections. Firstly, the prom is explored as a typical narrative conclusion to the School Film. Secondly, the following chapter analyses star performance and film acting in the youth delinquency film. The final chapter examines the genre’s construction of the past in the "nostalgic" teen movie. The original contribution to knowledge is twofold: the thesis significantly expands existing work on the Teen Movie, and uses the depth and range of specific examples from the case studies to complicate Butler's work. Textual analysis of each film’s construction of heteronormativity demonstrates that this normative and mainstream genre offers a more complex and critical presentation of heterosexual norms than previously appreciated. The thesis rethinks the norm by demonstrating the complexity of normative culture, which demonstrates a range of examples that call for a reconsideration of Butler's theorisation of gender norms.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HQ The family. Marriage. Woman ; PN1993 Motion Pictures