The teen film provides endless possibilities for identification for young audiences. They ask spectators to identify themselves from the stereotypes presented within the film. Teen films, then, have a way of not only speaking to teen viewers, but constructing them as well. This thesis examines the ideology embedded in John Hughes’s Pretty in Pink (1986) and Some Kind of Wonderful (1987), in addition to Thomas Carter’s Save the Last Dance (2001). Examining the films’ ideologies as a symptom of neoliberalism and its effects, this thesis locates spaces of resistance, if any, that may provide insight to the ways in which power flows and shifts from the state to the teen subject. While Hughes’s films exemplify representations of the idealized subject and subjectivity, Carter’s racialized gender dynamics in Save the Last Dance speak to a crucial difference between personal and structural identity. Employing an intersectional framework, this thesis highlights who and what is made visible when identities intersect with the law and the body.
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