Date: December 1996
Creator: Hubbard, Christine Karen Reeves
Description: In this dissertation, I bring together film theory, literary criticism, anthropology and psychology to develop a paradigm for the study of teen films that can also be effectively applied to other areas of pop culture studies as well as literary genres. Expanding on Thomas Doherty's discussion of 1950s teen films and Ian Jarvie's study of films as social criticism, I argue that teen films are a discrete genre that appeals to adolescents to the exclusion of other groups. Teen films subvert social mores of the adult world and validate adolescent subculture by reflecting that subculture's values and viewpoints. The locus of this subversion is the means by which teenagers, through the teen films, vicariously experience anxiety-provoking adult subjects such as sexual experimentation and physical violence, particularly the extreme expressions of sex and violence that society labels taboo. Through analyzing the rhetoric of teen lifestyle films, specifically the teen romance and sex farce, I explore how the films offer teens vicarious experience of many adolescent "firsts." In addition, I claim that teen films can effectively appropriate other genres while remaining identifiable as teen films. I discuss hybrid films which combine the teen film with the science fiction genre, specifically Back to ...
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