A study into the representation of 1950s gender roles and sexual attitudes within The Rocky Horror Show (1973) and Grease (1971)

Walter, Natasha (2012) A study into the representation of 1950s gender roles and sexual attitudes within The Rocky Horror Show (1973) and Grease (1971). BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    This dissertation is about how 1950s American gender roles and sexual attitudes are portrayed in two musicals, both written in the 1970s; Grease (1971) and its film adaption of the same name (1978), and The Rocky Horror Show (1973) and its film adaption The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). Because they are both written after the time, this dissertation examines the 1950s gender roles and sexual attitudes from a nostalgic perspective. This dissertation specifically focuses on how the characters, music and technical elements of the musicals portray these gender roles and sexual attitudes, and discovers whether they adhere to stereotypical views of the 1950s. It argues that although some of the characters do adhere to the stereotypes, it is only in a parodic nature, and that the majority of the characters break down traditional notions of gender and sexuality. The argument is informed by academic critique from many varied fields, but particularly focuses on the queer theory ideas of Judith Butler and Michel Foucault. The dissertation first examines where the stereotypes originated from, and how they can be seen within the two musicals. It then focuses on how the gender stereotypes are parodied and questioned by Danny in Grease and Dr. Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Show. It then explores how sexual attitudes are portrayed within the musicals, and affirms a link between music and expressions of sexuality, particularly non-normative sexualities.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2014 14:43
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:32
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/14046

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