Publication Date

April 2016

Advisor(s)

Mary Ann Clawson, Elizabeth Traube

Major

American Studies (AMST)

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

This thesis examines the situation comedy and its relationship to gender and social change through the shifting portrayals of women in woman-driven sitcoms. I explore this genre category within three subgenres that have been shaped by changes in women’s lives: the domestic or family-centered sitcom, the workplace comedy, and the “friendship” (or “gang”) comedy. This thesis traces in broadest strokes the progress of (mostly white, mostly middle-class) women in American society and cultural imagination from the postwar period onward, as these sitcom women migrate from the private sphere into the public.

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