Women with beards and men in frocks: gender nonconformity in American modern film
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Type of Workapplication/pdf
vii, 67 pages
DepartmentTowson University. Department of Women's and Gender Studies
RightsCopyright protected, all rights reserved.
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The present study examines the portrayal of gender nonconformity in 36 American films released between 2001-2011. Mainstream and independent films with at least one character portrayed in a gender transgressive way were chosen for analysis. The films were coded at two levels: (1) the entire film, and (2) individual characters. The entire films were coded for mainstream versus independent production, genre, and screen time of gender nonconforming characters. The characters were coded for type of gender transgression, character demographics and the purpose in the plot. The most common purpose of the non-conforming characters was humor, especially in mainstream films. Exploring identity was a much less common purpose and these films were far more likely to be independent films. The non-conforming characters were far more likely to identify as a static identity, man or woman, rather than anything else.