Textual Analysis Of Mulan

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This paper will discuss and analyze the film Mulan in light of four major concepts: (1), the social construction of gender; (2), gendered institutions; (3), social learning models of gender roles; and (4), muted group theory. This paper will also consider the impact of media portrayals of gender, and Disney specifically in children’s understanding of their gender. Social construction of gender. Gender roles and stereotypes are socially and culturally constructed. Every culture and society places a different meaning on what it is to be a man or a woman, masculine or feminine. According to Module 2 - Gender Roles and Gender-Identity Development, “gender roles are complex groupings of stereotypes brought about by cultural
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In Race, Class, Gender, and Women’s Work (1996/2004, p. 230), Amott and Matthaei illustrate the intersection of gender roles and gendered institutions functioning as self-fulfilling prophecies. They describe the process whereby the belief that the sexes are different functions to distinguish them as “distinct and opposed social beings,” leading to the assignation of opposite and unequal work and social positions, which serves to further the socialization of the sexes as “socially distinct genders.” Women are assigned family-based work like childrearing, caring for other members of the group, and in many instances cleaning and cooking – all work that functions in the private sphere. Men, however, are assigned work that is outside the home – labor work, military service, and politics – which function as public sphere…show more content…
Mulan is lauded by many as being a feminist film and was applauded for its depiction of a strong-willed and athletic, breaking the bonds of her oppressive culture and finding her individual identity. She is consistently ranked as one of the top female characters, particularly in animation (Kussman, 2015; Golembewski, 2014), but as has been noted previously, these more complex and superficially positive depictions of female gender roles do not matter if the outcome is the same as the older films. The conclusions of the film are often overlooked in favor of how we want to remember the character as being this ground-breaking woman who blazed a trail for future Disney characters.
Despite a more organic romantic connection developing between the prince and princess in Mulan, instead of love-at-first-sight, the ending follows the same formula as the previous films where she seems to go home to the life she purportedly despised with a new boyfriend in tow and takes up the role that she sought to dispel in the beginning. England et al. (2011), affirm this notion: “Her compliance with the gendered system granted

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