Sociology ETDs

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While researchers have examined controlling images of race and gender in the media, many have failed to acknowledge the role video games play in the hegemonic domain of power and few have examined the simultaneity of race and gender. This study expands upon existing literature by using video games as a site of racial formation, through which racialized "others" are created and Whiteness is normalized. Through the lens of intersectionality, I examine representations of female characters that appeared in popular video games between 1981 and 2012 and assess changes in racial composition, sexualization, narrative role, and aggression. A content analysis indicates belated portrayals of women of color and an analysis of odds ratios reveals a hierarchy of racialized femininity and sexuality in which Hispanic females are portrayed as hypersexual and passive and Asian females are depicted as aggressive but sexually modest. Examination of narrative roles indicates that, while women of color appear much later and far less often than white women, they are more likely to secure a significant role than white female characters when they are present.

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First Committee Member (Chair)

Santoro, Wayne

Second Committee Member

Ibarra, Robert


Intersectionality, Race, Gender, Video Games, Matrix of Domination, Hegemonic Domain of Power, Longitudinal, Content Analysis, Racialized Sexuality, Racialized Femininity, Racialized Sexualizaton



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