Year of Graduation
Gender and Social Class Labeling of a Lifestyle in a Mass Culture (by the example of the television series of V. Guy Germanica “The Short Course of a Happy Life”)
Faculty of Sociology
Abstract of the research topic The relevance of the research. The production of various kinds of serials in Russia is currently growing every year. Nowadays TV series as a genre is actively entered into the zone of pop culture. It is holding a dominant position in the broadcasting of different channels and gaining thereby a huge share of audience attention. That's why learning TV series as a phenomenon of mass culture is an important factor, which is contributing to the analysis of modern society.The importance of exploring such popular television series about contemporary Russian reality as "The Short Course of a Happy Life" ("KKSZH") by Valerie Guy Germanicus is explained by entering the information from the TV viewers into the private sphere and, conversely, by the production of information by the audience that gather together to discuss and to criticize the issues of class & gender inequality in society.The purpose of the research is to identify contradictions and points of convergence in receptions and representations of gender and class in the television series "The Short Course of a Happy Life" by the audience.We have the corresponding tasks for achieving the goal:• to study spectator reception of the series "KKSZH" from the perspective of semiotics of cinema; • to make a detailed examination of gender and class in the storyline of the television series; • to identify features of perception of gender and class in the TV series "KKSZH" by the audience according to the theory of representation; • to determine the impact of the representation of class and gender in the television series on the daily lives of the respondents. The object of the survey is the representation of gender and class in the TV series "The Short Course of a Happy Life". The subjects of the research are gender and class in the TV series as a social constructs. This case study involves the research of the subjective opinions of respondents and the analysis of visual footage. Key research questions are: What is the ideology of "KKSZH"? What ideas of the governmental authority are presented by this film? Why was it created nowadays? What image of contemporary Russia do we see in this movie? What are the modern Russian woman and the modern Russian man? What relationship do they have? How they see their social status in contemporary Russian society? The main hypothesis of the study: a TV-viewership is not just passive consumers, but manufacturers of representative connotations (i.e. mapping of class and gender in the television series "The Short Course of a Happy Life" is subjective to the tastes of the audience).The theoretical framework: the concept of representations by S. Hall and K. Gledhill (work "Genre and Gender: the Case of Soap Opera"), theory of political economy of the movie (by T. O'Rigan).The results of the study: the analysis of the perception of the audience of the TV-series "The Short Course of a Happy Life", based on the collected semiformalized interview; the self-representation of the audience of TV series "KKSZH" in front of the interviewer; the images of the " typical modern Russian woman" and " typical modern Russian men" formed by the respondents; it is revealed that "KKSZH" is a product of capitalist post-feminist culture.As a result of the transcription and subsequent coding of interviews two tables of the "male" and "female" characteristics of TV-series’ heroes were composed. Visual analysis of those movie scenes, which interviewed informants considered to be the most significant, was conducted.Keywords: visual research, representation, gender and class relations, cinematic analysis, audience reception, a TV series.