How Gender and Privilege are represented in Popular Culture (television)


Unit Project: Television Show Analysis

“Class, race, sexuality, gender and all other categories by which we categorize and dismiss each other need to be excavated from the inside.” ~Dorothy Allison


Assignment: Watch an episode of a television show (sitcom or drama), and analyze how gender and privilege are represented in the show. Be sure to include the topics we have discussed thus far (feminism, women’s movement, gender and privilege), where applicable. Include the key terms you have learned, and discuss how the characters in the program are classified based on gender and their social hierarchal ranking. Gender shapes their personalities and ultimately influences their decisions. Be sure to analyze how each character’s personality reflects certain “norms” or challenges the “mythical norms” in the episode you analyze. (Note: You are analyzing one episode and not the entire series.)


Purpose: To analyze how gender and privilege are represented in popular culture (television).


Due Date: Wednesday, January 6,


Audience: A potential viewer


Format: This is a formal paper. Be sure to use MLA format for paper design and in-text citations (if applicable). Include a Works Cited page if you use additional sources (with the exception of our textbook).


In the discussions area, be sure to post the title, date, and time of the program so that your peers can watch the program (if they want to). Tell the class why you have chosen the program you are going to analyze. What do you know about the show and the characters?


Evaluation: This unit project is worth 150 points. I will be looking for the following:


1. Clearly identify the television show and the points of your analysis

2. Describe the characters and the setting of the show (age, socio-economic status, location, etc)

3. Identify the various gender roles of the characters

4. Rank each character using the social hierarchal ranking chart in our textbook

5. Identify how gender influences how each character is treated and how gender influences the decisions characters make in the episode.

6. Explain how some characters are or are not privileged and why

7. Proofread for grammar and spelling errors

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