“Gender Occupational Segregation in Films” Does the Story Still Goes on?

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 11:30
Location: Hörsaal 14 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Michael TSANGARIS, University of Piraeus, Greece
Iliana PAZARZI, Okypus Theatre Company, Greece
Numerous studies of the past concerning gender representation and cinema, have shown that professional occupations in film roles had been regularly distributed uneven between male and female characters in relation to the state of the things in the real world. It has been supported largely that females in cinema in comparison to males, were typically underrepresented as a labor force, either “horizontally” or “vertically”, compared to their actual percentages at work.

This study is a survey of ninety top box office films, produced worldwide during the last three decades (1990, 2000 and 2010) that deals with gender representations and their professional occupations.

The purpose of our survey is to check and update the assumptions concerning the analogy of male and female characters in relation to their place in the labor force, as depicted in contemporary films worldwide. We question if gender stereotypes related to professional occupations still persist in the contemporary world of cinema. Consequently, we examine if the theory of the past supporting that there was an occupational segregation between males and females that was presented unevenly in the movies, corresponds to our research for the most recent decades.

Finally by putting the findings of our study in context with the historical perspective we can emerge the extent in which gender theory has activated the film directors’ sense to change the biased gender representations about professions released in the past by the cinema. The publication of this paper has been partly supported by the University of Piraeus Research Center.