Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis and Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


School of Communication

First Advisor

Phil Chidester


This thesis examines gender performance and its relation to power in the television series Once Upon a Time (OUAT). On the surface, OUAT is a television show that constantly challenges the culturally-ingrained gender norms often found in fairy tales, as it creates new storylines for traditional fairy tales. This warrants a deeper examination of the series to understand if and how it is subverting these typical gender norms. To fully understand how gender operates in OUAT, I examined how gender affects and is affected by hegemony in the show and how this relates to our cultural understanding of gender and power. Using the narrative paradigm as a lens, I examined two character arcs for six different characters to determine the relationship between power and gender in the series. I found that OUAT actually reinforces hegemonic gender norms through regulation of appearance, traits and skills, and unequal distribution of power.


Imported from ProQuest Mahler_ilstu_0092N_11048.pdf

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