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Female Interactions on Film - Beyond the Bechdel test: A quantitative content analysis of same-sex-interactions of top 20 box office films
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies, JMK.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study is to research how much women interact with each other on screen and what type of interactions occur. The Bechdel Test criticises the lack of female interactions and the content of those discussions. This thesis asks how much women interact with women in film compared to how much men interact with men. It’s an aspect of female representation in film that has previously not been researched.  The study also takes a closer look at female interactions and asks in what context women are placed when they interact with each other.

The study explores the global top 20 box office films and focuses on investigating same-sex interactions in order to see the prevalence of female-to-female interactions (FI) compared to male-to-male interactions (MI). This study applies a quantitative research method on the 20 highest grossing films at the worldwide box office of all time.

Findings of the study show that film portrays men interacting with men to a substantially higher extent than women interacting with women. Women are often presented in family situations and rarely are they seen interacting with female work colleagues.

The paper proposes a gender equality test, the (im)balance test to understand the relationship between FI and MI, and encourages the test to be applied to films in order to measure their gender balance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 50 p.
Keyword [en]
The (im)balance test, same-sex-interaction, female-to-female interaction, male-to-male interaction, the Bechdel test, Hollywood
National Category
Media and Communications
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-118209OAI: diva2:821217
2015-06-02, 15:00 (English)
Available from: 2015-06-15 Created: 2015-06-15 Last updated: 2015-06-15Bibliographically approved

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