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Happily Ever After: A Linguistic Study of the Portrayals of the Female Characters in One Old and One New Disney Film
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study seeks to answer the following research questions: which stereotypical linguistic profile characteristics and/or typical linguistic profile characteristics, if any, can be found in the old film and the new film respectively? Does the time difference between the films seem to have affected the female characters’ language use, if so in what way? Works by Lakoff (2004), Coates (2004) and Holmes (2013) are used to create a profile for stereotypical female speech and a profile for typical female speech. These profiles are applied to the transcripts of two Disney Princess films; one old film representing the classical Disney Princess films, and one new film representing the modern Disney Princess films. In order to suit this study all non-conversational utterances such as singing, and non-human utterances, are removed from the transcripts. The features are counted and then converted to frequencies of 1 feature per 100 words, in order to account for the differences in amount of words uttered. The results show that stereotypical features as well as typical features are present in both films. However, the old film contains more stereotypical features than typical features, and the new film contains more typical features than stereotypical features. Therefore, it would appear that the old film presents a more stereotypical image of women than the new film. Furthermore, the results indicate that power relations, and not just gender differences, play an important role in both films. The importance of these power relations would benefit from further investigation in future studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
children's films, Disney, female speech, gender stereotypes, linguistics
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-40858OAI: diva2:795579
Subject / course
Educational program
International Administration Programme with foreign language, 180 credits
Available from: 2015-04-01 Created: 2015-03-16 Last updated: 2015-04-01Bibliographically approved

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