Don’t call me ma’am’: the changing representation of the female police officer in British television crime drama

Clark, Natalie (2011) Don’t call me ma’am’: the changing representation of the female police officer in British television crime drama. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    Over the past fifty years, the predominantly masculine domain of British crime drama has seen the arrival and the development of the female protagonist. This dissertation examines her role and argues that while she is an embodiment of changes within society, she also appears to conform to ideological gendered stereotypes. These gendered stereotypes have supposedly been challenged through the generic evolution of the crime drama, yet through a close study of three key texts; The Gentle Touch (ITV, 1980-84), Juliet Bravo (BBC, 1980-85) and Prime Suspect (ITV, 1991-2006), this idea is questioned. This study argues that the protagonists are ultimately accepted into the force because either they are still subordinate to their male colleagues, or have become overtly masculinised. While developments in the genre are questioned, this dissertation concludes that fundamentally the female police officer within British crime drama has become one of independence, women are far more frequently cast as protagonists and furthermore, as evidence suggests, female viewers have taken inspiration from female characters, motivating them to pursue careers in crime, displaying evidence of progressive changes both on and off screen.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2012 11:26
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:58
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/7012

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