Representations of Gender in Narrative Film: Images of Femininity in Greek Romantic Comedies of the 1960s and Adapting the Hollywood Ideal

By Yvonne Kosma.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

My approach mainly concentrates on the ideological impact of film in the representation of dominant images of femininity and therefore focuses on the effects and consequences of such representations. In this sense it is not solely concerned with the production of meaning through and within representation, but mainly with reproducing power relations and forging identities and subjectivities. Therefore, the key questions that concern me involve: (i) how narrative cinema contributes to the field of cultural representations and in particular to definitions of gender inside a specific socio-historical context; (ii) how popular fiction contributes to the production and circulation of gendered identities; and (iii) what relationship exists between social reality and the fictive representations of the dominant and / or mutating definitions of femininity. Within this framework, ideologies are not taken to be simply imposed by a dominant hegemonic force. Instead, they are considered to constitute points of conflict and negotiation on the definition of what must be considered to be the “real” or, in other words, about the imposition of one particular discourse as hegemonic. In this process of negotiating hegemony, as Gledhill accurately claims, “ideologies may shift their ground, the central consensus may be changed and ‘the real’ reconstructed” (Gledhill, 1997). I consider narrative film an area where negotiation of gendered identities takes place, as well as an area where ideological tensions concerning femininity are played out. Therefore, I shall attempt to present a model that locates the images, representations and discourses inside the filmic text in order to unravel the ideological function of the narrative.

Keywords: Feminism, Femininity, Gender, Identity, Body, Representation, Film, Narrative Cinema, Subjectivity, Power Relations, Ideology, Discourse

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp.213-218. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 518.454KB).

Dr. Yvonne Kosma

PhD, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, University of Athens, University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Yvonne Alexia Kosma has recently completed her PhD at the University of Athens. Her thesis is on representations of sex and gender in popular Greek cinema of the sixties, and it draws mainly on Michel Foucault, Discourse Theory and psychoanalysis. Her theoretical interests concern feminism, social theory and popular culture.

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