Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Sociology

Advisor

Dunn, Jennifer L.

Abstract

This article examines contributions of television news media to the dominant cultural dialogue regarding young women’s deviance as demonstrated by pundit commentary concerning the criminal behavior of young female celebrities. Using a case study of actress Lindsay Lohan, I examine the accounts that pundits offer for the deviance of these young women and whether medical and psychological explanations enter discourse in a significant way. Additionally, I examine the extent to which feminine mental health issues contribute to the creation of a cultural stock character evocative of tragic, female literary archetypes. I find that mental and psychological health dialogue is pervasive in pundit discourse surrounding Lohan’s criminal deviance and that features of a tragic stock character are evident.

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