Date of Award:
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
School of Teacher Education and Leadership
Department name when degree awarded
Teacher Education and Leadership
Amy Alexandra Wilson (Committee Co-Chair), Sylvia Read (Committee Co-Chair)
Amy Alexandra Wilson
This study examines how girls and women related to a strong female protagonist in Scott Westerfeld's book Uglies, a dystopian young adult novel. I chose the text, Uglies, as a common experience shared between both participant groups. Two main research questions framed this study: How do girls and women relate to the female protagonist in dystopian YAL? and, How are the responses to dystopian YAL similar and different for the targeted teen audience and the adult audience? This study utilized third-wave feminism and reader response theory for its critical framework. Third-wave feminism calls for researchers to foreground personal narratives as a way for people to make meaning from their experiences. Reader response theory posits that meanings are created when the reader engages with a text.
The analysis revealed that women related to the protagonist as an agent for societal change, and the girls related to the protagonist as an individual who desired societal acceptance. The findings from this study affirm and extend reader response theory's view that generational positions factor strongly in responses to literature.
Parent, Robin A., "A Feminist Examination of How Girls and Women Engage with a Female Protagonist in Dystopian Young Adult Literature" (2015). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations, Spring 1920 to Summer 2023. 4483.
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