Final Paper Instructions
1. You will need your notes from this semester’s readings.
2. Select two American or European movies you have previously viewed.
3. Develop a feminist response to these two movies:
this assignment, your task is to deconstruct different facets of two
movies, analyzing how these movies use gender, race, ethnicity,
cultural, social class, and sexual orientation assumptions that they
depict and carry in images and storylines. You will also propose
alternative depictions and storylines that could indeed be considered an
argument for not just inclusion but social justice in American/Western
4. Use these questions to guide you as you compose your essay:
What are the movies’ presuppositions about its main topic (e.g., dating)?
Imagine a child were watching these movies – what does it tell that
child about the world? What values, messages, or ethics does it promote
as healthy or unhealthy?
How does each movie follow the same narrative structure and have the same message?
What attitude do these movies take toward their own themes (e.g., beauty, competition, man vs. nature, etc.)?
What are the implicit and/or explicit messages that the movies tell and reinforce?
Who is the target audience for each movie; how and why does it appeal to this group of people?
What kind of fan clubs or fan sites have formed around the movie? What
do these tell you about the movie’s appeal and its values?
specific editing techniques, advertising, or other strategies does each
movie use to “hook” and maintain this specific target group?
does each movie imagine its audience? As a homogenous group of people,
or as different individuals with different interests?
What individuals are part of the movie? What stereotypes do they reinforce?
Consider the age, gender, ethnicity, race, religion, appearance, sexual
orientation, profession, class, beliefs, and nationality of the cast
members. Who does it include? Who did it exclude?
What does the inclusion or exclusion of certain groups tell you about assumptions embedded in the movies you selected?
Is the sampling of contestants an accurate representation or a distorted perspective on reality?
How do the characters act? Are there any common characteristics, or
narratives, that apply to most of the characters? What are they? Who
or what are the producers looking for when they cast such a movie? Who
do they stay away from? How do these decisions reflect on the movie’s
What editing and storytelling techniques are used?
Consider the use of dialogue, contests, plot, editing, voice-overs,
hosts’ descriptions, music, screen captions, direction, and
cinematography. Which of these elements stand out? How are they used
and manipulated? For what purpose? Don’t focus on all them; best to
choose one or two. For example, analyze voice-overs – when do they
occur, what do they say, etc.
Many movies are incredibly
formulaic, following the same patterns and formulas for each movie.
What are some of those formulas and how do producers carry them out?
Related to the category of “audience/fans,” who is the target audience
of the movie and what produces are sold to this group? Who profits from
Are any products integrated into the movie scenery, dialogue, action?
What emotions does each movie appeal to? What emotional affects does it produce in viewers?
What techniques does it use to produce these emotions?
How does it make viewers feel about themselves? About others?
Is this a healthy or unhealthy show in terms of what emotional affects it produces? How so?
Why did you select the movie? What does it mean to you?
What are your viewing habits? Why do you watch the show? What appeals
to you? Think critically about how the show works on your emotions.
What kind of feelings does the show instill in your mind? How does it instruct you about the topics it addresses?
FORMAT: Minimum 7 Full Pages (should reach the bottom of page 7 at
minimum), double-spaced and typed in Times New Roman 12 pt. font, with
Please do not add extra spacing between paragraphs,
in headers, etc. You must quote directly from a minimum of 5 of the
essays/chapters we read this semester.
You MUST include other
course materials besides the readings from this course in your essay–3
BOOKS AND 5 PEER REVIEWED ARTICLES BEYOND YOUR REQUIRED READINGS FOR
THIS COURSE–please refer to videos and presentations by title.
must document all your sources properly, incorporate every quote into
one of your own sentences, and use a works cited page listing all the
sources you cited, arranging them in alphabetical order according to the
authors’ last names.
YOU MUST PROVIDE A PDF PAGE AS AN APPENDIX
THAT SHOWS YOUR USE OF OUR UNIVERSITY’S RESEARCH SOURCES FOR BOTH BOOKS
AND PEER-REVIEWED ARTICLES.