Date of Award

Summer 2007

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Lowe, Robert

Second Advisor

Garner, Ana

Third Advisor

Pink, William


Hollywood films set in high schools are common and popular in the landscape of . American movies today. While the settings represented across this genre range widely from elite, private prep schools to gritty, urban high schools, it is clear Hollywood is infatuated with the high school environment either as a backdrop or a primary setting for many of its stories. For even the casual viewer of high school films, it is difficult to overlook the stark differences in representations of urban and suburban schools. While urban, minority students in motion pictures must overcome many challenges in both the classroom. and their home lives in order to succeed, those primarily white students attending suburban schools often must also confront a daunting challenge in the form of. an incompetent teacher. Students in suburban school films are treated to sunshine and splendor in beautiful, modern facilities, while urban school students are often relegated to the cold, gray confines of a decaying structure more closely resembling a jail than a school. If these settings were coincidental and had no bearing on the tone of the high school film, they would not merit mention, but in most cases, the representation of the school building is reflective of the depictions of that school's students, educators, and learning environment. These representations, though different in their effects and targets, appear to be common stereotypes included in the high school film...



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