Depictions of morality, masculinity and madness in Showtime’s 'Dexter'

Bury, Emma (2012) Depictions of morality, masculinity and madness in Showtime’s 'Dexter'. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    This dissertation will focus on representations of morality, masculinity and madness in the hit US television drama, 'Dexter'. From looking at these representations, this dissertation will then discuss how these depictions of morality, masculinity and madness reflect contemporary attitudes in US society. To discuss how these attitudes have changed, the dissertation will also be looking at similar texts to 'Dexter' in film and television, such as 'The Silence of the Lambs' (Demme, 1991), 'American Psycho' (Harron, 2000) and 'Profit' (Fox, 1996). It will also discuss if the show’s representations are challenging the norm, or if they in fact reiterate social stereotypes or values.
    The role of the media is to provide representations and depictions of groups in our culture which then enables the public to form their own attitudes and opinions surrounding issues in society. Therefore it is important to study these representations of morality, masculinity and madness as it may reflect some current attitudes in society. By looking at older representations it will reveal how these representations have changed and therefore will show how attitudes have changed in western culture. This dissertation has studied these elements and comes to the conclusion that at times 'Dexter' represents current attitudes that are far more liberal and modern but also represents traditional ideas. It shows that attitudes towards masculinity can both challenge the more traditional idea of the male but also at times shows more conservative ideas. Attitudes towards madness in relation to serial killings differ depending on moral justification. Overall it has discovered that through the majority of the show, 'Dexter' doesn’t challenge social norms, as ideas of madness, masculinity and morality are very traditional and conservative.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2014 16:44
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:32

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