Gender Studies | Themes in Gender Studies: Women in Sitcoms "The Relationship between Representations & Reality"
G205 | 14569 | Weida, S


This course will trace the evolution of women’s roles in sitcoms
from Leave it to Beaver through Sex in the City in order to begin to
examine the ways in which representations of women have changed. But
this course is also concerned with why such representations have
changed and what it might say (or not) about gender in American
society. By looking at women on television we will begin to examine
larger questions about the relationship between representations and
reality, such as: Do women’s changing roles on TV reflect,
influence, and/or distract from the actual roles of women? Should a
diversity of representations of women be seen as political progress?
In actuality how diverse are these representations? Is there
something about the situation comedy genre in particular that makes
it more open for women, both as characters and as viewers? How and
why do men and women use these shows as resources for politics,
fantasy, and survival? Is there a connection between depictions of
women on TV and discourses of post-feminism? In an industry still
largely controlled by men can and should feminists embrace or
utilize TV characters in their activism and daily lives?