Description: This thesis examines the differences between teen romantic comedy films marketed to Generation X teenagers in the 1980s and Generation Y teenagers in the 1990s, focusing on the presentation of gender roles, consumptive behavior, and family. The 1980s films are discussed within the social context of the Reagan era and the conservatism of the New Right. The 1990s films are examined as continuing a conservative sensibility, but they additionally posit consumption as instrumental to achieving an idealized romance. Romantic comedy is traditionally a conservative genre, but these films illustrate female liberation through consumption. The source of difference between the cycles of teen romantic comedy is attributed to the media's attempt to position Generation Y teenagers as ideal consumers.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Murphy, Caryn E.