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The Impact of Legally Blonde on Women Entering the Legal Profession

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This thesis seeks to understand how the film Legally Blonde has portrayed the interaction between femininity and women. Specifically, this paper will consider how feminism—defined through the context of the era and Legally Blonde—has empowered women to enter male-dominated professional

This thesis seeks to understand how the film Legally Blonde has portrayed the interaction between femininity and women. Specifically, this paper will consider how feminism—defined through the context of the era and Legally Blonde—has empowered women to enter male-dominated professional workspaces—specifically in consideration of the legal profession. The feminism presented in Legally Blonde can be characterized through Elle Wood’s simultaneous displays of intelligence and focus on typical feminine interests: such as marriage, cosmetics, and the like (Marsh, 2005; Lucia, 2005; Hoffman-Longtin & Feldner, 2016). The “third-wave” feminist era surrounding Legally Blonde promotes the duality of women in expressing femininity and holding agentic capability (Dole, 2008). This thesis uses the film’s definition of feminism to consider the changes in women entering the legal profession, the identity of women who connect to the film, and the media’s responses and portrayal of the film. Legally Blonde defines feminism by presenting women as both intelligent and typically feminine—challenging the typical gender role of women in society with her expression of capability and seriousness. While the film elucidates a definition of feminism based on femininity and female agency, some women may not fit into this definition based on the lack of consideration of intersectionality in the film. While the film underlines a changing shift in acceptance of women’s expression of femininity, the film’s message may not apply to all women. Yet, Elle Woods remains a role model for many women to attend law school and her impact is emphasized in popular culture even today.

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2020-05

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The Evolution of the Public Perception of Feminism

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Over the last 30 years, the public has become somewhat less willing to accept the “feminist” label. However, most Americans indicate support for general feminist ideals. In fact, many of these ideals have become so prevalent in American culture that

Over the last 30 years, the public has become somewhat less willing to accept the “feminist” label. However, most Americans indicate support for general feminist ideals. In fact, many of these ideals have become so prevalent in American culture that they are not considered feminist anymore. This thesis will examine the reason behind this disparity and analyze where public opinion began to shift. The disparity between the definition of feminism and the definition perceived by the public will be explored along with the idea that the American people still want and need a “feminist movement,” but that its current state is not resonating with the majority of the public.

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Date Created
2019-05

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How to Create a Narrative Poetry Collection: Feminism and Reflection

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Through my research I had considered how feminism and reflection can be used in narrative poetry. In addition to research on narrative poetry, I had self-published a narrative poetry collection titled 100. which I self-published on Amazon through kindle and

Through my research I had considered how feminism and reflection can be used in narrative poetry. In addition to research on narrative poetry, I had self-published a narrative poetry collection titled 100. which I self-published on Amazon through kindle and a hard copy. The study of feminist poetry is looked at in my research in order to further apply feminism and reflection to narrative poetry. The joys of feminism, culture, identity, and empowerment are discussed and explained throughout my poetry collection. There are three waves of feminism, and I focused on writing in the third wave feminism which doesn’t have a cohesive argument, but focuses on sharing stories that are unique to women. As well, third wave feminism discourages patriarchy and encourages socio-political action. Some common, and re-occurring themes include my transformation process during college, spirituality (my faith), and nature. In order to further my poetry collection I had looked at many feminist authors on culture, and narrative poetry collections in order to see how the creative process works, and how I could better benefit my narrative poetry through feminism and reflection on growing up and what it means to be a woman. I had encountered and tried to reflect highly on the unique stories I have encountered being a woman raised of a Catholic identity in Ohio. This collection of poetry is meant as a reflection on my college experience as a female, and sharing the empowerment I have as a woman that I hope to share with others.

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2019-05

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Conceptual Obstacles and Opportunities for Conservative Feminism

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In the midst of our nation's heightened political climate, it seems as if politics is polarized more than ever. Voters witnessed the impact of identity politics in the previous national election. As Facebook and Twitter are flooded with political debate,

In the midst of our nation's heightened political climate, it seems as if politics is polarized more than ever. Voters witnessed the impact of identity politics in the previous national election. As Facebook and Twitter are flooded with political debate, it seems as if the ability to engage in civil discourse has been lost. In the past election cycle, women's issues were a major focal point. Firstly, the country was presented with the potential to elect its first female president. Discussions of workplace diversity, the gender pay gap, and racial divide brought up serious concerns of inequality. Women were infuriated so much so that they organized all across the nation and came out strong, but not unified, in the notable Women's March. The March was arguably politically fueled and perceived by conservatives as an anti-conservative movement. Since the March was purposefully scheduled the day after President Trump's inauguration, the idea of "resistance" was interpreted as "anti-Trump." Interestingly enough, a pro-life feminist population was excluded from being sponsors of the movement. This story received national coverage, and is a topic of debate. The 2018 Women's March proved to be just as political with speeches encouraging people to only vote Democrat in the following elections. The Women's March is a microcosm of our nation's inability to find common ground. This project will explore the ideologies of conservatism and feminism and develop the concept of the "conservative feminist." In this study, we surveyed students studying political ideologies at Arizona State University, assessed results, and then conducted informational interviews to explore those results in greater depth. Accordingly, this thesis explores questions such as: Why did a civil rights movement become seemingly polarized? What are the semantic and conceptual obstacles to "conservative feminism?" The goal of this analysis is to explore the stigma of political ideologies and labels, and to open the discussion for better understanding of feminism, conservatism, and conservative feminism.

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2018-05

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On Islamic Feminism: Feminist Interpretation of the Quran and the Fight for Gender Equality

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In this essay, I discuss Islamic feminism from the point of view of its proponents. By this, I hope to engage Muslims and traditionalists. Islamic feminism is the fight for gender equality, as a challenge to the way traditional Islam

In this essay, I discuss Islamic feminism from the point of view of its proponents. By this, I hope to engage Muslims and traditionalists. Islamic feminism is the fight for gender equality, as a challenge to the way traditional Islam has perpetuated patriarchal power structures in the Muslim world. Today, feminist sentiment is on the rise in the Islamic world as more and more women are becoming engaged in this fight for gender equality. Islamic feminism reclaims the Quran as its justification and involves the struggle for gender equality grounded in this justification. I divulge into two linked claims: a normative one where gender equality is justified in Islam, and a descriptive one which posits that male domination over interpretive powers has distorted the way Islam has been practiced traditionally, thus placing women in a disadvantaged position. Islamic feminists, I have found, seek to reject the widespread patriarchal interpretation of the Quran by first, reinterpreting the Quran as an equalizing force, and then implementing Islamic feminism in the public sphere. I show that they do this by engaging politically and civically through activism, education, and political involvement — this I refer to as civic Islam, highlighting that public engagement is an inherent Islamic duty. For this end, I cite several countries — including Iran, Yemen, Tunisia — in which Islamic feminists have taken up the mantle as activists, and what their impact has been through brief case studies. In the end, I include my reflection on Islamic feminism as a college-educated Muslim woman having grown up in a Western, liberal society.

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2017-05

Situated Journalism

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There's a growing trend of transparency in the media that has been reflected in the Society of Professional Journalists' Code of Ethics. SPJ advocates that journalists "explain ethical choices and processes to the audience" and "expose unethical conduct." Transparency currently

There's a growing trend of transparency in the media that has been reflected in the Society of Professional Journalists' Code of Ethics. SPJ advocates that journalists "explain ethical choices and processes to the audience" and "expose unethical conduct." Transparency currently means taking responsibility for your work and not allowing yourself to be compromised by conflicts of interest. It doesn't usually mean being open about your beliefs, positions and perspectives. We would argue that it could, and should. There are many examples of publications making mistakes because they lacked the knowledge and understanding of someone from a different perspective. Additionally, there are many examples of journalists lacking in information because they were trying to remain objective. There should be a place where journalists can be open about where they are coming from and give their perspective on a situation. Using many different perspectives we can build a bigger, and more accurate, picture around the context of a situation. This thesis project examines objectivity and proposes a new philosophical approach based on Situated Knowledges by Donna Haraway. We examine media case studies to expose issues with the coverage of news when objectivity is the main goal.

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Date Created
2016-05

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JUST ONE OF THE GUYS? AN ANALYSIS OF THE PRINT-MEDIA COVERAGE JANET NAPOLITANO RECEIVED IN THE 2002 ARIZONA GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION

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This thesis analyzes the print-media coverage of female candidates for public office in Arizona. Former research has found that, historically, female candidates receive less overall coverage, less issue coverage, and more coverage focused on appearance and family in comparison to

This thesis analyzes the print-media coverage of female candidates for public office in Arizona. Former research has found that, historically, female candidates receive less overall coverage, less issue coverage, and more coverage focused on appearance and family in comparison to their male counterparts. Such biased coverage has countless detrimental effects on female candidates in influencing the public's perception of their viability as candidates and their ability to perform in office. To explore how female candidates in Arizona are treated by their local print media, I specifically analyzed how the two largest newspapers in Arizona, The Arizona Republic and Arizona Daily Star, covered Janet Napolitano as a gubernatorial candidate in 2002. In the first chapter, I compared general election coverage of Napolitano to that of her male opponents Matt Salmon, Richard Mahoney, and Barry Hess. In the second chapter, I compared in-depth general election articles about Napolitano to in-depth general election articles about Jan Brewer during her campaign for governor in 2010. From the first chapter, then, I could analyze coverage differences between female and male candidates, and from the second chapter I could examine coverage differences between female candidates with very different lifestyles. In conjunction, these two chapters produced a broad picture of the media climate for female gubernatorial candidates in Arizona.

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2014-05

The Endless Cycle of Neglect

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Parental substance abuse is the number one reason children are neglected and placed in foster care. More than 18,000 children were in out-of-home care in Arizona in 2015, the majority of them for neglect. Reports to the Arizona Department of

Parental substance abuse is the number one reason children are neglected and placed in foster care. More than 18,000 children were in out-of-home care in Arizona in 2015, the majority of them for neglect. Reports to the Arizona Department of Child Safety are categorized by physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect. Neglect is the broadest category and 72.9 percent of the maltreatment reports DCS received between April and September 2015 were for child neglect. Experts say nationally, parental substance abuse is the main cause for the neglect of children. "The Endless Cycle of Neglect" is an in-depth story about the effects of parental substance abuse leading to children being placed in foster care. The research was conducted through reviews of data available in public records and interviews with experts and adults who were in placed in foster care after experiencing neglect by parents who were abusing substances. The story is built into a multimedia website with elements such as photos, embedded audio, and infographics. The story follows Amber Anderson, whose father was a drug addict, and chronicles the events in her life that led to her being placed in foster care and ultimately losing her children to foster care because of neglect. Anderson shared her story of neglect, her time as a prostitute, and the events that led to her losing custody of her children. The website that the story is hosted on, kuntharathesis.com, was built to be visually engaging for readers, with large photos, pull quotes, and interactive infographics. The full thesis can be found at kuntharathesis.com or http://kuntharathesis.com/index.php/2016/05/05/the-unending-cycle/

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2016-05

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Comparative Analysis of the Effects of Media on Hyperlocal Elections

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Although smaller and more local elections could have implications more dramatic to an individual than larger district-, state-, and nation-wide elections do, very few citizens vote in them. Moreover, citizens are limited in procuring further information on candidates, issues, and

Although smaller and more local elections could have implications more dramatic to an individual than larger district-, state-, and nation-wide elections do, very few citizens vote in them. Moreover, citizens are limited in procuring further information on candidates, issues, and the overall election when there are fewer sources of such information across various mediums. While existing literature on political communication and voter participation does not yet extend far enough to sufficiently address the most local aspects of media effects on elections, the political science field’s dominating frameworks would suggest that an increase in news media, social media, and ground mobilization tactics would increase civic engagement and voter participation. My research, which focuses on hyperlocal elections, both supports a​nd​refutes certain elements of that suggestion. Based on surveys of potential voters in a university’s student government election and a school board election, interviews with two student government presidential candidates, and an analysis of social media engagement, my research compares three mass media platforms and two elections to characterize the effects of media on hyperlocal elections—that certain tactics have drastically different results on different populations. My research expands the body of media and politics knowledge to include hyperlocal elections, suggesting that civic engagement on the local levels require increased further study.

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2015-05

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Hashtag Feminism: An Analysis of Social Media as a Feminist Platform

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This paper examines the relationship between feminism and social media and evaluates the ability of social media to function as an effective platform for the advancement of feminism's objectives. In the decades before social media became an integral part of

This paper examines the relationship between feminism and social media and evaluates the ability of social media to function as an effective platform for the advancement of feminism's objectives. In the decades before social media became an integral part of culture, the popularity of feminism deteriorated and feminist voices were unsure that it could be revived or popularized again. However, in recent years, women have used social media as a mechanism to communicate and disseminate feminist ideas. The birth of what is called "hashtag feminism" has been a fundamental shift in the way feminism is done and advocated for in modern culture. In light of this dramatic shift in venue for feminist conversations, academic feminists are asking a series of pertinent questions: Is social media good for feminism and the achievement of feminist objectives? What, if anything, has feminism compromised in order to fit into 140 characters or fewer? This paper argues that social media has provided a platform for feminists to share their stories, which has aided in the building of feminist constituencies. This is the most important work of feminism, because it is making society more receptive to feminist principles and ideas, transforming our culture into one that can accept and fight for feminism's objectives. This paper will examine a series of case studies in which social media has hosted feminist conversations. It will analyze the impact of this social media as a venue for feminist narratives and evaluate the use of social media as a feminist platform in the movement to achieve feminism's objectives.

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2015-12