In this qualitative content analysis of 150 popular films, the meaning of gendered conflict in contemporary popular culture is addressed from a systems theoretical perspective. Gendered conflict occupies a central position in these films and is normatively structured in terms of networks of romantic/sexual conflict based upon the geometric foundation of the triangle. Triangles are found to invoke dualistic pairs of stereotypes among characters who are competing for the attention of a common focus of attraction. When men occupy the center of triangles, dualism involves the Madonna/Whore archetype. When women occupy the center, dualism alternates between Hero/Villain and Prince/Scoundrel archetypes. Norms, values, and expectations regarding gendered conflict are found to foster male privilege in each archetype.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 13, 2004
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