Women and Gender in Teen Films Discussion Questions


Answer these three questions based on the lecture notes and reading links attached.1. Define and give examples of three (outside of the PowerPoint) of the five archetypes based on the lecture2. What are the two schools of thought about what makes a teen film? What is your definition of a teen film?3. Based on the PowerPoint and readings, what gender is usually portrayed as each archetype? Choose two archetypes and explain why you think they are portrayed as that gender more often than the other.https://learn-us-east-1-prod-fleet01-xythos.s3.ama…Read the following sections of Shary (pdf link is right above this line):pp. 29-36 (start at the beginning and stop at “Transforming the Nerd”)pp. 50- 52 (start with “Delinquents and Their Avenues of Anger” and stop at “Students vs. Teachers”)pp. 60 – 63 (start with “Resisting Rebels” and stop at “Prep School Rebels”)pp. 73- 75 (start with “The Labor of Being Popular” and stop at “Popular Girls”)pp. 82-83 (start with “The Sensitive Athlete” and stop at “The Emergence of Female Athletes”)pp.96-97 (start with “Conclusion and stop at end of reading) this link might help u https://www.npr.org/2019/05/24/726232124/booksmart…Then answer these 4 discussion questions:4. Do the characters in The Breakfast Club fit Shary’s categories: nerd, delinquent, rebel, popular student, and athlete. How do the characters fit/not fit the categories? Please provide scene examples in your answer.5. In the NPR interview it was discussed that Booksmart pushes back against the “stereotypical” boxes of teen movies. Do you agree with this statement? Please provide scene examples in your answer. 6. There is a 39-year difference between The Breakfast Club (1985) and Booksmart (2019). In what ways have teen films evolved/not evolved over the years. You may use examples or clips from other films to answer this questions.7. How do teen films often play out? Do teens usually end up living in harmony or do they maintain their cliques? What is more like your own experience?these are the instruction for the discussion questionsOriginal Discussion Board Posts: You may use media or a link to information, such as website attachments, YouTube clips, etc., in your own discussion board. Also, you may post a link to a video or some other form of media (podcast, blog, etc.), in which you answer the questions/prompts verbally. The Original Discussion Board Post makes up 25/40 points.Remember your discussion post should be representative of how you would speak in class. It should be academic, but does not need to be as highly refined as a formal essay or speech. Responses should be respectful of other peoples’ opinions and not disparaging in any way. It is especially important to keep in mind the classroom contract during these activities. To adequately address the discussion board questions, typical Original Discussion Board Posts are at minimum 500 words (approximately two pages).Response Discussion Board Posts: You must post a response to one of your classmate’s discussion board posts. Your response provides you with the opportunity to engage critically with your classmate’s discussion board posts. The response post is makes up 15/40 points. To adequately respond to a classmate, typical Response Discussion Board Pose are at minimum 250 words (approximately one page). There are three steps required for each post.Add on to the argument, push back against the argument, state questions that the post raised for you academically, socially, politically, etc.Make connections among the previous readings, films, lecture notes, and other classmate’s posts.This is an extension of step two. Apply your classmate’s post and your response to a real-world text. The world text is defined broadly (film, news stories, websites, events, social movements, memes, images, and other types of cultural, social, and political discourse or data). You must link the text in your response. You must also provide context connecting the text to your response. you should write a response for My classmate discussion:The characters in The Breakfast Club totally go along with Shary’s categories. In this film, there is a character for each category. There is Claire, the popular girl, Allison the outcast, Brain the nerd, Andrew the athlete, and John the rebel. I think that specifically, John should be considered delinquent instead of a rebel and label Allison as the rebel. During this film, Allison is the one that would rather do her own thing and stay back from the pack. John is more aggressive and has a hatred for authority. In this film, each character shows how they relate to these categories. For example, John instigates a fight between him and Andrew, where Andrew uses his wrestling skills to throw John on the ground. John, being the delinquent, is more likely to start a fight with someone, who just happened to be the athlete.I definitely agree that Booksmart pushed back against stereotypes. In the interview, Olivia Wilde talked about how important it was for the two characters to have a real friendship instead of focusing on a romantic relationship. Teen movies tend to focus on romantic relationships as part of an underlying plot or focus of the film. In Booksmart, Amy and Molly are totally the definition of best friends. They do everything together and are a power team fit to rule the world. They are simply strong, independent girls that want to achieve their academic goals. They refuse to conform to normality and change themselves to fit into expectations.The Breakfast Club has evolved in many ways, but in some has stayed the same. This movie focuses so much on the real reasoning that those students were in detention as well as showing the true versions of each other. Most of the group does not fit in with the stereotypes that are given to them at the beginning of the film. Watching this film now, it still relates to what high school is like. I may not have been in high school for a hot minute, but I do know that cliques and stereotypes do still exist. In Booksmart, Amy and Molly are their own people and do not listen to common stereotypes. This has evolved teen films because in The Breakfast Club, those characters were developed based on their stereotypes. Teen films often play out by the main characters either dating the person that they had a crush on or changing their appearances/beliefs to fit in with the school social norms. Teens usually tend to look like they have the best life at the end of the film, one that the audience wishes that they have. Many of the teens tend to switch cliques or make more friends that enter their clique. In my experience, high school was full of cliques and many people only talked to their friends. There was never really integration of cliques unless it was for group assignments in class. Everyone’s lives in high school were different because we all came from different areas around South Jersey. As a whole, many teens in teen films get what they want and have a happy life at the end of the film.

• Students will evaluate teen films.
• Students will analyze the history of the
teen film.
• Students will identify various teen
character archetypes and their conflicts.
• Students will apply teen character
archetypes to the films The Breakfast
Club and Booksmart.
• Students will analyze and discuss the
evolution of Teen Films.
Teen Films Defined
• There are a few schools of
thought about what makes a
teen film.
• Film scholar Catherine Driscoll
argues for a film to be a teen
film it must be made for and
target teens. This means that
teens do not have to have to be
in the film for a film to be a teen
• Film scholar Timothy Shary
argues that for a film to be a
teen film it must predominantly
feature teen leads. He argues
that teens are between 12 and
History of Teen Films

There were a number of social changes that occurred in the United
States in the 1950s. Part of these changes are the rise in suburbs and
This period was the first time that teens had a group identity, and
they were often portrayed as being in opposition to older
During this period teens in films were portrayed as delinquents
(breaking the law, having sex, using drugs, etc.) that stood against
American morals and values.
The delinquents in these films were from suburban homes.
This was different than how delinquents were portrayed in the past
(the result of poverty and poor education).
These films were made for adults as a warning for what could happen
to their children; however, they had a massive following through
teenage audiences.
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
The First Teen Film
Rock Around the Clock (1956) is
thought by many film scholars as the
first film marketed towards teens.
• After the success of this film, there
were a number of studios that
started making films targeted
towards teens in the 1950s and
• These included Rock Films, Hot Rod
Films, Teen Horror Films, and Beach
• These films were all made for
commercial appeal.

Beach Blanket Bingo (1965)
Hot Rod Girl (1956)
Teenagers From Outer Space (1959)
Teen Films in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s

There was a decline in teen films in
the 1970s due to a number of
However, the 1980s saw the rise of
the multiplex theaters and shopping
These became social centers for
Teenagers were spending money in
these places, and filmmakers began
making films targeted towards teens
There was another decline in teen
films in the early 1990s.
However, towards the end of the
1990s on to today, filmmakers have
again started to make films targeted
towards teen audience.
Pretty in Pink (1986)
She’s All That (1999)
Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (2004)
Lady Bird (2017)
Five Common Character Archetypes in Teen

Popular students
Nerds transform their identity to meet
social expectations over school/academic
• This is typically done by joining a sports
team, having sex, breaking the law, etc.
• Female nerds transform by receiving a
makeover. This is done in an attempt for
boys to realize that nerdy girls are actually

Lucas (1986)
The Princess Diaries (2004)
Delinquents act aggressively to
compensate for lack of social
• There are two typical types of
conflict for the delinquent.
• A conflict between the delinquent
and the school, which often
manifests as the delinquent vs a
teacher, principal, or
• A conflict between the delinquent
and other students, which often
manifests as student vs student.

Class of 1984 (1982)
Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993)
Tuff Turf (1985)
• Rebels resist conformity
while struggling to find their
place in school/society as
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
Popular Student
• Popular students seek
notoriety by conforming while
simultaneously attempting to
maintain individuality.
Clueless (1995)
Mean Girls (2004)
• Athletes show sensitivity despite
the common stereotypes against
them that they are stupid.
Varsity Blues (1999)
Friday Night Lights (2004)

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