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Gender and Popular Fiction - Movie Review Example

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This paper aims to demonstrate an explicit knowledge of genre conventions and how they may be adapted in order to invite critical reflection on gender and change. This objective is compelled by a necessity to use fiction as an avenue for reflection on gender and change, alongside potential modification of gender perceptions…
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Gender and Popular Fiction
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Gender and Popular Fiction

Download file to see previous pages... The word "genre" comes from the French ( which was originally Latin) word for "class" or "kind" which is widely used in literary and media theory, rhetoric, and even linguistics referring to a distinctive type of text (Chandler, n.d.). It is generally an abstract conception rather than something that exists empirically in the world (Feuer 1992). Genre has mainly typological functions and its principal task is to divide the world of literature into classes, naming each of the types the same way as a botanist divides the realm of plants into variations in order to classify them.
It should be noted that ever since the classical times, literary works have already been classified into belonging to certain general types. This is seen in literature whose broadest division is between poetry, prose, and drama, within which further divisions are recognized, such as comedy and tragedy within the realm of drama. Shakespeare has initially referred to these classifications as tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, historical-pastoral, pastoral-comical, tragical-historical, and so on (Chandler, n.d). Frye (1957) presented certain universal genres as key in understanding the entire literary body. Today's media genres are inclined towards relating more to specific forms rather than to the universality of tragedy and comedy. Contemporary films may be termed as routinely classified as "Asian," "Westerns," "thrillers," - genres which every household in modern society is familiar with. The same goes with television genres such as "sitcoms," "soap operas," and "game shows." Fowler (1989) claims that while we designate several genres to a various media realms, there are however many genres and sub-genres for which we have no names. It is suggested that the more complex the society is, the more genres may be found hitherto, thereby saying that the number of genres in a society depends on the complexity and diversity of that society (Miller 1984). Genre exists only as far as a social group enforces the rules that constitute them, signifying the primary role which society plays in the existence and abundance of genres ( Hodge and Gunther 1988). Derrida argued that it is impossible to produce texts that bear no relationship at all to established genres, since a text cannot be without a genre and that there is no genre-less text in the first place (Derrida 1981).

To say that the hierarchical taxonomy of genres is an objective procedure may imply falsehood, since there are no specific "maps" of the system of genres in any contextual medium. Further, theoretical disagreements about the definition of specific genres also exist. It goes on to say that one theorist's genre may be a sub-genre or even super-genre to another, a case ultimately determined by how technique, style, mode, or thematic groupings are applied. Themes, however are inadequate as compared to techniques and style in determining genres, since any genre may have a theme (Bordwell 1989). Knowing whether animation and documentary films are genres or modes pertain to this concern, and if slapstick is a genre or a formula used in movies. Some genres that may be found in films are grouping by period or country (British films of the 50s), by actor, director, producer, studio, series, style (silent ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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