Rebellion and Reconciliation: Social Psychology, Genre, and the Teen Film 1980-1989

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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 ... continued below

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v, 164 leaves

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Hubbard, Christine Karen Reeves December 1996.

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  • Hubbard, Christine Karen Reeves

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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 the Future and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, and the musical genre, specifically Girls Just Want to Have Fun and Dirty Dancing. In my discussion of the slasher film, specifically the Halloween. Friday the 13th. and A Nightmare on Elm Street cycles, I highlight how teen films function as a safe place to explore the taboo. Finally, I discuss the way in which the teen film genre has evolved in the 1990s due in part to shifts in social and economic interests. The teen films of the 1990s include the viewpoints of women, minorities, the handicapped, and homosexuals and question the materialistic ethos of the 1980s films.

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v, 164 leaves

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  • December 1996

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Hubbard, Christine Karen Reeves. Rebellion and Reconciliation: Social Psychology, Genre, and the Teen Film 1980-1989, dissertation, December 1996; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279235/: accessed August 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .