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Binära bibliotekarier and The Beast Below : En genusanalytisk studie av bibliotekarierepresentationer i samtida film och teve

Fajte, Caroline LU and Börjesson, Linda LU (2015) ABMM54 20151
Division of ALM
Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences
Abstract
Representations of librarians have appeared in popular culture for a long time. Previous research has found that the most common image of the librarian is the spinster, but only a smaller part of the research has focused on the underlying causes. Drawing inspiration from Radford and Radfords (1997) article ”Power Knowledge and Fear: Feminism, Foucault and the Stereotype of the Female Librarian”, the aim of this Master’s thesis is to investigate how librarians are represented, how their gender is produced and what power structures lay behind.

The material has been limited to films and TV-series, which is an effective medium for reaching a lot of people. It also serves the spectator with visual images, why the spectator therefore isn’t... (More)
Representations of librarians have appeared in popular culture for a long time. Previous research has found that the most common image of the librarian is the spinster, but only a smaller part of the research has focused on the underlying causes. Drawing inspiration from Radford and Radfords (1997) article ”Power Knowledge and Fear: Feminism, Foucault and the Stereotype of the Female Librarian”, the aim of this Master’s thesis is to investigate how librarians are represented, how their gender is produced and what power structures lay behind.

The material has been limited to films and TV-series, which is an effective medium for reaching a lot of people. It also serves the spectator with visual images, why the spectator therefore isn’t allowed to form their own images. Through mainstream film and tv-series, we can also make sense of what the producers (and society) want to represent and communicate.

Although both society and the profession itself has changed with the development of technology, the old stereotype seems to persist. Stereotypical characteristics is found in many of the representations of the librarians in our material, but we have also found divergences such as an increased representation of male librarians.

We analyze our material through discourse theory, gender theory, and norm critical film theory. We identify the following discourses; The white librarian, Body vs. brain, The Beast Below, Class and The intelligent woman as a threat. We argue that these discourses create, reproduce and support a white, patriarchal order which is demeaning to both men and women, and indeed librarians. (Less)
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@misc{5435964,
  abstract     = {Representations of librarians have appeared in popular culture for a long time. Previous research has found that the most common image of the librarian is the spinster, but only a smaller part of the research has focused on the underlying causes. Drawing inspiration from Radford and Radfords (1997) article ”Power Knowledge and Fear: Feminism, Foucault and the Stereotype of the Female Librarian”, the aim of this Master’s thesis is to investigate how librarians are represented, how their gender is produced and what power structures lay behind.

The material has been limited to films and TV-series, which is an effective medium for reaching a lot of people. It also serves the spectator with visual images, why the spectator therefore isn’t allowed to form their own images. Through mainstream film and tv-series, we can also make sense of what the producers (and society) want to represent and communicate. 

Although both society and the profession itself has changed with the development of technology, the old stereotype seems to persist. Stereotypical characteristics is found in many of the representations of the librarians in our material, but we have also found divergences such as an increased representation of male librarians. 

We analyze our material through discourse theory, gender theory, and norm critical film theory. We identify the following discourses; The white librarian, Body vs. brain, The Beast Below, Class and The intelligent woman as a threat. We argue that these discourses create, reproduce and support a white, patriarchal order which is demeaning to both men and women, and indeed librarians.},
  author       = {Fajte, Caroline and Börjesson, Linda},
  keyword      = {ABM,biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap,bibliotekarie,stereotyp,rädslans diskurs,film,genus,intersektionalitet,vithet,diskursanalys,representation,klass,ungmö,TV,hegemoni,Foucault,Butler,Dyer,sexualitet,normer,performativitet,makt/kunskap,ALM,Library & Information studies,librarian,stereotype,discourse of fear,movie,gender,intersectionality,whiteness,discourse analysis,class,spinster,old-maid,hegemony,sexuality,norms,performativity,power/knowledge},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Binära bibliotekarier and The Beast Below : En genusanalytisk studie av bibliotekarierepresentationer i samtida film och teve},
  year         = {2015},
}