A study of the representation of female protagonists in contemporary action film

McCrorie, Hannah (2011) A study of the representation of female protagonists in contemporary action film. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

[img] PDF
Restricted to Registered users only

Download (192kB)


    Since the 1980s, women in Hollywood action cinema have transcended from secondary roles to become protagonists and the main vehicle of action narratives. This development of female characters in the action genre marks an important time for women in film who are no longer positioned below the male hero. The purpose of this study is to establish whether the roles of women within the action genre are shown to be progressive or whether stereotypical gender roles are being re-established. A semiotic analysis is conducted using key extracts from three contemporary action films - G.I. Jane (Scott, 1997), Charlie’s Angels (McG, 2000) and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (West, 2001). The research will study primarily focus on the way that the female body is shown as well as how notions of a patriarchal society impacts on these roles to understand how women are interpreted in popular action cinema.

    The ideas within this dissertation have been concluded by using the qualitative method of semiotic analysis in order to understand the messages that the female protagonists convey. This dissertation concludes that female protagonists in the action genre are influenced by a patriarchal society which continues to represent women as the ‘weaker’ sex. In addition, this research has found that the objectification of the female body is a recurring film within Hollywood action genre.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2012 13:18
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:58
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/7037

    Actions (login required)

    View Item

    Document Downloads

    More statistics for this item...