Investigating Female Identity Formation: From Fairy Tales to Fabulous Lives

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Title: Investigating Female Identity Formation: From Fairy Tales to Fabulous Lives
Author: Atkins, Kristin Gayle
Advisors: Dr. Bonnie Fusarelli, Committee Member
Dr. Anna Victoria Wilson, Committee Chair
Dr. Paul F. Bitting, Committee Member
Dr. Kenneth H. Brinson, Committee Member
Abstract: Identity is not a universally fixed term (Butler, 1990, p. 7); rather, it is complex construction produced and reproduced along the axes of gender, race, class, sexuality, education, and cultural context (Gauntlett, 2002, p. 13). As such, identity hinges on a combination of acts, (Sedgwick, 1990), hierarchical social categories (Butler, 1999), culture (Kellner, 1995, 2003), history, difference, representation, social institutions, and stories that define and shape the self through recursive and self-reflexive processes. This research investigates the impact of media culture, body image, relationships, and fairy tales on the identity formation of four young women. Specifically, I concentrate on key cultural models provided through electronic media, visual media culture, and schooling to follow the ways in which these women construct and co-construct their identities over the course of several interviews. Using discourse analysis as the primary tool of inquiry, this study investigates specific details in speech to identify key patterns in language, to interrogate the socioculturally-situated identities produced, and to illuminate relevant cultural models and context in an effort to better understand the ways in which girling and the institution of school inform female identity formation.
Date: 2004-12-01
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Educational Research and Policy Analysis
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/4729


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