Stereotypes and signifiers of cultural change: Situating Disney presentations of mental health conditions as feminine
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
Communication and Journalism
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The purpose of this paper is to study portrayals of mental health conditions in animated children’s film, situating them as feminine. Specifically, it aims to add to the understandings of Disney-Pixar’s portrayals of mental health conditions and the resulting cultural stereotypes. This paper utilizes a content analysis of three Pixar films with female lead characters from the 2000s and 2010s. Additionally the methodology draws on a diachronic total history as described by Klinger (1997) in order to study these films as larger cultural objects of influence, in the conversation between mass media and mental health portrayals. Conclusions can be drawn about whether Disney-Pixar’s presentations of mental health conditions and female characters reflect, parallel, or deviate from the cultural views of the time period.