Date of Award

8-2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

German

Major Professor

Maria Stehle

Committee Members

Daniel H. Magilow, Sarah Eldridge

Abstract

Gender topics are an often discussed theme in both the English as well as in the German speaking world. Academic research in the discipline of media studies is addressing gender questions in film, TV series and media in general. In recent years gender media studies grew in a number of directions. This thesis discusses how women, specifically their negotiations of conventional gender roles in romantic relationships and in the work place are depicted in contemporary American and German TV series and what it means for societal development. It discusses the German telenovela Verliebt in Berlin (SAT.1, 2005-2007) which was adapted from the Columbian original Yo soy Betty, la fea ( RCN Televisión, 1999-2001) and the US-American show Girls (HBO, since 2012) by Lena Dunham and addresses how these series depict the lives of young women in the modern neoliberal society and in the work place. These television series reflect the change in TV landscape and reveal a close but complex relationship between the national and the global. They also illustrate recent developments in feminism. After the depolitizied post-feminism, a new feminism arose which is shaped by political activism and breaking taboos. Verliebt in Berlin shows a successful young woman who overcomes prejudices in the work place but who sticks to the Cinderella principle in relationships whereas Girls emphasizes individualism and the general struggle due to demands of the modern society of mid-twenties in professional as well in private life.

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