Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Mass Communication and Media Arts
This dissertation explores articulations of Black Womanhood during the socio-political crisis of police brutality against Black women during the 2010s. I use Stuart Hall’s concepts of conjuncture and articulation as the orientation to analyze three of Lifetime’s original reality television programs: Dance Moms, Bring It!, and Girlfriend Intervention. I contend that the discourses on these shows create articulations of Black womanhood that fail to reflect the realities of the complex social struggles and state-sanctioned police violence against unarmed Black women that led to the #SayHerName movement. Rather than portray the full realities of the Black female experience, the shows conceal the social unsettling experiences of being a Black woman in order to bring entertaining and banal discourses to the forefront. As such, those reductive articulations of Black Womanhood act as an unstable settlement, a temporary joist to the national social formation in an attempt to avoid radical socio-political reconfigurations.
This dissertation is only available for download to the SIUC community. Current SIUC affiliates may also access this paper off campus by searching Dissertations & Theses @ Southern Illinois University Carbondale from ProQuest. Others should contact the interlibrary loan department of your local library or contact ProQuest's Dissertation Express service.