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The Representation of Women in American Western Film and Literature

By Jessica Sebold

Abstract

The American Western genre of film and literature has largely ignored women and people of color in reference to intersectionality while reinforcing stereotypes, whether created by the genre or not. This study included content analysis of Western film and literature in relation to the female and ethnically diverse characters that are depicted in the works and have helped to create the mythological cowboy figure. This also included the treatment of women in relation to their socioeconomic background and source of income, as well as their interaction with and relation to the white males who traditionally dominate the genre, such as, but not limited to, Clint Eastwood and John Wayne, as well as the literary characters created by authors such as Larry McMurtry and others. Though the American Western genre has long been considered dead, the revival of such films and literature in recent popular culture has made this research relevant to modem day America and other countries to which this material has been exported. The American cowboy has become an iconic figure, while individuals who largely created the cultural American West, such as Native Americans, Mexicans, and women, have been ignored or marginalized to take on a supporting-role for the white-male, iconic cowboy

Topics: Film and Media Studies, Women\u27s Studies
Publisher: Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works for Minnesota State University, Mankato
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu:urs-2607
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