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Title: BFFs on the Big Screen: A Study of Friendship and Gender in Film and Television
Authors: Lewis, Neely
Advisors: Frye, Margaret
Department: Sociology
Class Year: 2016
Abstract: This paper aims to answer the question of how gender and friendship is represented in the media through the lens of television shows and movies chosen by the survey results of American young adults. A content analysis of 13 television shows and 5 movies was conducted to examine the stereotypical ways in which female, male, and cross-sex friendships were presented based on the topics of their conversations. The results of this study show that female friendships are portrayed in a more negative and complicated light based on conflicting conversations centered on catty behaviors or romantic relationships in conjunction with the discussion of emotional expression and the importance of everlasting friendship. Male friendships are represented in a more positive and simpler fashion based on infrequent, but meaningful, emotional expression, less focus on romantic relationships, and bonds built on mutual interests. The polarizing representations of female and male friendships contributes to the representation that cross-sex friendships cannot truly exist due to the difficulty of potential romantic relationships threatening the friendship.
Extent: 121 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Sociology, 1954-2017

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