Greedy men and seductive females : A qualitative gender analysis of the representation of villains in the James Bond franchise

University essay from Jönköping University/Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation

Abstract: The over 50-year-old movie icon James Bond is as current as ever. Since being the most prominent representation of a male hero and one of the world’s most recognizable movie icons, James Bond has been under the academicals loupe for many decades. In 2019, the world is waiting patiently for the realize of the 25th James Bond movie as the same time as several discussions in the media deals with the subject weather or not James Bond could be portrayed as a female or not. However, the long running franchise is bigger than just its main star, and the aim of this thesis is to study the representation of the “bad guys”, the antagonist characters of the James Bond franchise.The aim was narrowed to two research questions that regarded both how the male versus female representation compare to each other and also how the representation of the characters has developed over time. With the background of gender and social constructionism a qualitative analysis with semantic elements was performed on a total of 12 antagonist characters from the James Bond franchise.The analysis rendered several interesting findings. The result displayed that the representation of the male and female characters differs in several regards. The male characters were represented as authoritarian, well-dressed elderly men. While the female characters were represented more as younger sexually liberated females with a distinctly seductive vein. The time perspective could demonstrate development especially regarding the female characters whom, as time progresses, has become more complexed characters whose motive and background story is displayed much clearer to the audience. The male characters have also become more complex over time, but their stereotypic traits are in many ways unaltered.

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