In space no one can hear you clean: the changing gender representations in Alien and Aliens

Jones, Samuel (2009) In space no one can hear you clean: the changing gender representations in Alien and Aliens. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    This dissertation examines the films Alien (1979) and Aliens (1986) to see if they support or challenge typically portrayed gender roles of US science fiction. For this the lead protagonist Ellen Ripley is primarily focused on. During the 1970s to 1980s America went though a great change in national ideologies and this dissertation examines the correlation between women's role in society and Ripley's role within the narrative. For this I have looked at employment statistics, political and social commentators of the time, and academic works on both films to get a deeper understanding of American society in the '70s and '80s and of the films themselves. For Alien I primarily focus on the rise of Second Wave Feminism in the 1970s and woman's increased presence within the workplace. For Aliens I examine Reaganist conservatism of the 1980s and the reinforcement of both the nuclear family and of more traditionalist gender roles. This dissertation argues that it is these social aspects that shape the character of Ripley; transforming her from the career woman of the 1970s to the working mother of the 1980s. Primarily it establishes that Ripley's character becomes less of a "feminist hero" (Nichols, 2005) as the films progresses thus conforming her to previously established gender roles.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:15
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/689

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