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Title: What promotional and textual discourses are constructed over the production lifecycle of 'The L Word' and how do audiences respond to producer decisions within such discursive constructions?
Author: Davies, Faye Patricia
ISNI:       0000 0004 6058 8707
Awarding Body: Birmingham City University
Current Institution: Birmingham City University
Date of Award: 2016
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The following research is concerned with an exploration of the discourses constructed about lesbian culture both within and surrounding the production and lifecycle of The L Word. The originality of the approach to and development of this thesis is anchored in a consideration of the show as a symbolic good (Garnham, 1999) which encapsulates not only the meanings inherent in the television text, as often focused upon in traditional Television Studies perspectives, but also producer focused branding and creative justification through promotional materials, and audiences sense making. This means that the thesis is the result of the intersection of a number of theoretical approaches to the study of television production as industrial practice, television as meaningful text, and also to audiences as readers. This thesis outlines that The L Word's textual elements, promotional branding, and the audience response to this wide consideration of the television text altered significantly over six seasons. During this time the priorities of the producer altered from a focus on political representation and a communal sense of lesbian identity, to maintaining narratives and that would ensure appeal to a mainstream audience. This change in focus led to the fragmenting of lesbian subjectivities and formed an ideologically hegemonic lesbian culture within the text. This was further asserted through the othering of lesbian characters considered overtly sexualised, alongside identities of gender and sexuality that blurred the queer boundaries. The developing decoding and reactions of the lesbian audience further support the development of these hierarchies of discourse. Within this thesis it is also argued that the pleasures of the lesbian audience became problematic and their readings had to become increasingly negotiated for them to find enjoyment in the narratives and outcomes of The L Word.
Supervisor: Mercer, John ; Wall, Tim Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: L900 Others in Social studies ; P300 Media studies