Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.757300
Title: Impossible girls and tin dogs : constructions of the gendered body in Doctor Who
Author: Rowson, Emily
ISNI:       0000 0004 7430 1180
Awarding Body: Northumbria University
Current Institution: Northumbria University
Date of Award: 2017
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Abstract:
This thesis interrogates the various constructions of the gendered body within the rebooted Doctor Who (1963- ). To do this, this thesis contends that Doctor Who occupies something of a contradictory position with regard to gender and the body, seemingly acknowledging the need for equality and feminism as ‘common sense’ whilst simultaneously denying true realisation of these aims by retreat to universal (patriarchal) concepts of goodness, humanity, and benevolence. In addition to this, whilst, at present, our definitions of the gendered body appear to be becoming ever more fluid and abstract, something that is aided by the increasing encroachment of technology in our everyday lives, there remains a limit to this bodily fluidity, a limit heavily informed by recourse to the ‘natural’ and, therefore, the ‘acceptable’. Science fiction’s interest in the body is clear and well documented; science fiction landscapes are frequently populated by bodies that have been mutated, enhanced and cloned. Hence, there is scope for a mutually beneficial discourse between theoretical constructions of the body, evolving technology and science fiction narratives, a discourse that this thesis will ground within the narrative of Doctor Who. In doing this, this thesis will intervene within these debates by deconstructing representations of the gendered body within the rebooted Doctor Who, constructing a continuum of ‘acceptable’ bodily expressions that will offer insight into the limits of our apparent gendered bodily fluidity. Using a methodological approach that involves textual analysis informed by social, cultural, and technological theory, this thesis begins by foregrounding the mutual areas of interest between the various theoretical concepts. From this, the thesis contains three broad thematic chapters discussing the topics of reproduction, monstrosity and technology with the selection of these topics being attributable to them representing convergence points of interest for the given theoretical areas. These themes are then grounded and discussed within Doctor Who, with the programme’s popularity, longevity, long form narrative structure, and political reflexivity all making it an appropriate lens for analysis. This thesis argues that these debates are ones Doctor Who both acknowledges and embodies, yet Who appears to remain hamstrung by a resort to tradition that prevents true radicalism and subversion. By using Doctor Who as an accessible point of reference for these potentially abstract and emotive debates, this thesis aims to question the extent to which we are now, or may ever consider ourselves, truly ‘postgender’; whether our ‘choices’ are as freely made as they appear, or whether we remain constricted by residual patriarchal mores.
Supervisor: Leggott, James ; Hutchings, Peter Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.757300  DOI: Not available
Keywords: L300 Sociology ; W400 Drama ; W900 Others in Creative Arts and Design
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