A Cultural Critique of Contemporary Science Fiction Film




Henry, Christopher Guy

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This thesis provides an in-depth analysis of how gender, class and violence are portrayed in current American science fiction films. The examination was based on viewing, reporting, and analyzing a set of recent popular movies: Elysium, Iron Man III, The Hunger Games, Gamer, and In Time. Within the science fiction genre, the directors, writers, and actors are not constrained by any factual cultural rules or precedents, so in essence, these people have the creative power to create any society they want. As this analysis reveals, however, these films actually contain extremely misogynistic, classist, and violent messages. Through the application of sociological categories and semiology, this analysis demonstrates how powerful these messages are in shaping audience perceptions. The research concludes that these films are very profitable, influential, and reflective of what the current culture desires, and perhaps, demands, of entertainment. This research is significant and vital because it reveals that even in science fiction, where there is the power to change conceptions of gender, class, and violence, as a culture we ultimately choose to promote and consume regressive and detrimental messages.



film, cinema, science fiction, communication studies, gender, class, violence, media, media studies, Honors College


Henry, C. G. (2014). A cultural critique of contemporary science fiction film (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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