Prompt Unit Five: Gender, Sexuality and Popular Communication

The readings for this unit consider the relationship between popular forms of communication – such as films, television programs, and music – to examine their relationship to feminist politics and political movements. The selections highlight the way that some popular texts can serve both to obscure these issues and isolate individuals seeking to make change in areas related to these issues while other texts can provide important symbolic resources for building new kinds of community and solidarity that support equality and diversity.

The prompt for this unit asks you to identify a popular text – a film, a song, a television program, a video game, etc. – and analyze the way in which it contributes or inhibits struggles for equality with regard to gender or sexuality. Your analysis can focus on a textual analysis (see, for example, McRobbie’s interpretation of Bridget Jones in this essay)¬†, or it can look at the ways in which audiences interpret these texts and have incorporated these interpretations¬†into their social practices.