Remaking myths and subverting the mainstream : teen girls come of age on and off the screen Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9s161934p

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  • For at least 30 years American culture has failed to provide empowering myths and symbols to its adolescents as they come of age and try to make sense of their selves, sexuality and the culture that surrounds them. This lack of myths and symbols is especially harmful to girls and women who are subject to the limiting and damaging myths and symbols that mainstream American culture continues to manufacture and reinforce. While mainstream entertainment continues to produce and market commercial products and ideology that do not empower girls and women and often undermine their autonomy, intelligence, and power, there are fissures in its powerful facade. In independent films, and in some mainstream films, are powerful and empowering characters, images, and ideology that offer girls an alternative to manufactured narratives that rely upon limiting myths and symbols to define and confine girls' adolescence and mold them into powerful consumers. Because few independent films are part of the entertainment readily available to teenage girls and women, I have assembled a collection of films that subvert American myths and symbols and create powerful and empowering narratives and characters that girls and women can use to make sense of their selves and sexuality as well as adolescence, mainstream entertainment, and American culture itself. By understanding all of these contexts, girls and women can work to change the culture that limits, defines, and confines both women's lives and entertainment.
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