Date of Award

1993

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Communication Studies

First Advisor

King, C.

Keywords

Mass Communications.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

This study employs the multidimensional and multiperspectival critical theoretical approach of Douglas Kellner to analyze the Star Trek phenomenon. More specifically, it combines elements from Marxism, socialist feminism and myth analysis to uncover both the progressive and regressive representation of gender and race appearing in the narratives of Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, beginning with its pilot episode entitled "The Cage." These representation are then contextualized by relating each of the series to their particular socio-historical time periods. Finally, they are compared and contrasted with one another to note the similarities and differences among them. The general results of the study showed that with the exception of the original Star Trek series, airing the in late 1960s, the Star Trek phenomenon displayed increasingly progressive images over time of both gender and race in its television narratives which reached its height in early 1993 with the creation of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. More specifically, "The Cage", Star Trek's original pilot, displayed images of women that ranged from extremely sexist ones to more progressive ones (including a female as second-in command) which reflected social struggles and acknowledged, to some extent, their expanding roles in our society. However, it largely ignored issues of race by featuring an exclusively white crew. The following series made significant steps forward in terms of both gender and race representation in their narratives, the latest overthrowing the usual hierarchical ordering of society by placing white males lower in the command hierarchy than both females and non-whites. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)Dept. of Communication Studies. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1993 .F375. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 32-02, page: 0381. Adviser: Christopher R. King. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1993.

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