Date of Award

8-10-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Communication Studies and University Honors

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Lawrence P. Wheeler

Subjects

Lesbians in mass media, Lesbians on television, Television programs -- Social aspects -- United States, Death in mass media, Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913) -- Criticism and interpretation

DOI

10.15760/honors.805

Abstract

Following an increase in queer characters over the last few decades, representation of the LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, etc.) community on television has become a particularly rich field of inquiry for interdisciplinary scholars. One area of interest, the death of contemporary lesbian characters, remains fairly underdeveloped. This thesis attempts to identify structural patterns in the deaths of lesbian characters by subjecting their narrative arcs to structural analysis, specifically a method of linguistic analysis developed by the Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure. I identify structural patterns in the deaths of 6 lesbian characters which took place between the years 2013-2017, as they relate to narrative context, and extract meaning from those patterns. The stability of patterns’ features across the sample will be questioned, specifically how they relate to “the closet” originally discussed in Sedgwick (1990) and Joyrich’s (2009) work.

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/29370

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