Beverly Hills, 90210: Television, Gender, and Identity / Edition 1

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Overview

In 1990 the fledgling Fox television network debuted its prime-time soap opera Beverly Hills, 90210, which was intended to appeal to viewers in their late teens and early twenties. Before long, not only did the network have a genuine hit with a large and devoted audience but the program had evolved into a cultural phenomenon as well, becoming a lens through which its youthful viewers defined much of their own sense of themselves.

By an overwhelming majority the fans were female-young women between eleven and twenty-five whose experience of the program was addictive and intensely communal. They met in small groups to watch the program, discussing its plot and characters against the backdrops of their own ongoing lives.

Wondering what this talk accomplished and what role it played in the construction of young female viewers' identities, Graham McKinley found several groups who watched the program and questioned them about the program's significance. Extracting generously from actual interviews, McKinley's investigation has the urgency of a heart-to-heart conversation, with rich anecdotal moments and revelations of self.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

E. Graham McKinley teaches journalism at Rider University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1 The Enthusiastic Voices 1
2 Watching Beverly Hills, 90210 13
3 Cultural Studies: Agency, Community, and Pleasure 31
4 Social Construction: The Discursive Self 48
5 Appearance: Expertise and the Community of Viewers 68
6 Characterizations: Community with the Characters 83
7 Narrative: Playing Pundit 115
8 Talk About TV Effects: Enculturation 137
9 Issues: Closing Down the Moral Voice 154
10 Dating: The Passive Female 189
11 Guessing: The Microprocesses of Hegemony 217
12 Conclusion: Swimming with the Tide 235
App Data Collection and Subjects 243
Glossary 251
Bibliography 261
Index 269
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