Bridget Jones’s Legacy: gender and discourse in contemporary literature and romantic comedy adaptations

Bross, Miriam (2016) Bridget Jones’s Legacy: gender and discourse in contemporary literature and romantic comedy adaptations. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Romantic comedy adaptations based on bestsellers aimed at predominantly female readers have become more frequent in the fifteen years since the publication of Bridget Jones’s Diary (1996) and the financial success of its adaptation (Sharon Maguire, 2001). Contemporary popular literature and films created specifically for women have emerged alongside the spread of neoliberalist and postfeminist discourses. This thesis offers a timely examination of bestselling adapted texts, including chick lit novels, a self-help book and a memoir, and their romantic comedy adaptations. While some of the books and films have received individual attention in academic writing, they have not been examined together as an interconnected group of texts.
This thesis is the first work to cohesively analyse representations of gender in mainstream bestsellers predominantly aimed at female readers and their romantic comedy adaptations published and released between 1996 and 2011. Through a combination of textual analysis and broader discursive and contextual analysis, it examines how these popular culture texts adapt and extend themes, characters,
narrative style and the plot structure from Bridget Jones’s Diary. Moreover, the thesis explores how they function as sites of the production and circulation of discourses. In doing so, the thesis accentuates wider surrounding discourses and how they contribute
to, and are informed by, concepts about gender that circulate within the wider neoliberalist cultural climate.
By using an interdisciplinary approach and focusing on ten books and nine romantic comedies published and released over a time span of fifteen years, the thesis reveals intertextual influences across genre and media boundaries and discusses resulting changes in genre conventions over time. It draws attention to culturally and
academically devalued popular literary and film genres produced for predominantly female consumers and argues that these texts deserve academic attention because they contribute to the fabric that constitutes contemporary reality.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art, Media and American Studies
Depositing User: Users 2593 not found.
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2017 15:29
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2017 15:29

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