The Russian Woman as Sexual Subject: Evolving Images in U.S. Television and Film, 2012-2016
MetadataShow full item record
In American entertainment media Russian women overwhelmingly appear in sexualized contexts. For the past 25 years, since the Soviet Union was dissolved, there has been a consistent drive to represent on only a handful of narrative categories. These can be reduced essentially to sex trafficking, mail-order brides, and sexual espionage. Despite this limited repertoire, over the past five years there has been significant variation in approaches taken to those categories. This study offers a surveyed textual analysis of how the construction of the Russian woman as sexual subject has evolved to meet new understandings and imperatives. Many of these texts take on challenging topics with unprecedented levels of discursive and rhetorical sophistication, often subverting popular imagination. Driven by feminist media studies and critical cultural theory, I isolate the elements of these texts that interact with geopolitics and socioeconomic realities, in order to deconstruct the mythologies and ideologies behind these stereotypes.