Gender, race, and representation in educational films: The role of curricular materials in the identity development of African American and European American females
Jane Gagliardi Plenge, Saint Joseph's University, United States
Saint Joseph's University . Awarded
This study investigates the balance and quality of representation of gender and race, i.e., representation of black and white females, in educational films used American History classrooms to examine their impact on identity development. The major purpose is to confront hegemonic symbols and imagery in educational films that convey messages of subjugation, to heighten consciousness of the potential impact of such images on females' identities. A second purpose is to help educators understand the importance of asking critical questions about balanced and fair representation of gender and race when choosing educational materials. The overarching question is: What is the relationship between gender and racial representation in American History films and identity development in black and white females? A number of sub-questions are used to answer the overarching question. These questions are: How do female students perceive differences in gender and racial representation in curricular materials, i.e., in films used in U.S. History classes? Do educational films represent gender and racial difference and hierarchy? Whose knowledge is transmitted in educational materials? To what extent do students have access to a curriculum that addresses diversity and equity issues? Qualitative methodology examines whose history is told, to what extent gender and race are validated, and how dominance and oppression are characterized. Two films are chosen for use with black and white females, who met with the researcher to discuss personal experiences and group reactions to the films. Resulting data from interviews and focus groups are analyzed using qualitative methodology. Theories used are feminist, critical race, and identity theories.
Plenge, J.G. Gender, race, and representation in educational films: The role of curricular materials in the identity development of African American and European American females. Ph.D. thesis, Saint Joseph's University.
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