Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Embodying Disney Dreams: the Representation of Femininity and Whiteness in Recent Disney Animated Films

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posted on 2021-11-09, 01:26 authored by Maplesden, Allison

This thesis proposes to critically examine the ways in which whiteness and femininity are represented in recent Disney animated films. It will be contended that the Disney text is an influential part of the popular cultural discourse on femininity and whiteness but this is often obscured or made invisible by the ways in which the films work to naturalise these constructions. The work of this thesis will be to unpack the constructions of femininity and whiteness through an analysis of the figuration of the Disney heroine. This thesis will argue that idealized whiteness and femininity are discursively embodied in these Disney heroines in complex and contradictory ways, and that Disney works on and through these bodies to fix and contain the ideological constructions of gender, race, and sexuality.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Name

Master of Arts

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies


Redmond, Sean; Wagner, Matthew