Investigating Gendered Power Discourses of the Hollywood Media and the Implications for Positioning Actresses

By:
Sultan Gencer
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Gender has always been a strongly entrenched discourse in Hollywood-related power ranking lists published by such magazines as Variety, the Hollywood Reporter, Forbes, Fortune and Premiere. In this paper, I will investigate how these gendered views have been formed, shaped and articulated by multiple power discourses and how power positioning of actresses were devalued as proposition of these views drawing evidence from the cases of Jodie Foster, Julia Roberts, Sharon Stone and Meg Ryan.

I will argue that these massively circulated power lists have implicitly persuaded gendered views by verbalizing and legitimizing power with ranking numbers (usually, in the case of women, low ranks ), by giving insignificant statistics, and by use of ironic language and humorous illustrations as tools of mediation. Power discourses have kept power in the possession of males behind and in front of the screen. Thus, few actresses ever fit the criteria which would allow them to occupy the top rankings in the power lists. Importantly, these power ranking numbers have been uncritically accepted as source of data in academic work (such as that of De Vany, Walls and Wyatt); and have been represented as noteworthy statements of the power positioning of actresses and in general of female gender by numerous media circulations.


Keywords: Power, Gender, Discourse, Actress, Ranking, Media, Hollywood
Stream: Media and Communications, Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Gender
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Investigating Gendered Power Discourses of the Hollywood Media and the Implications for Positioning Actresses


Sultan Gencer

PhD Student, Film and Television Studies, University of Nottingham
UK


Ref: I06P0360