This research is conducted to describe the construction of female hero in the film Divergent in the context of 21st century America. This thesis explores the hidden ideologies of Western gender norms in popular film text.
This research is a descriptive qualitative research under the framework of American Studies. Since American Studies is interdisciplinary, this research uses various theories and disciplines. The source data of this research is a 2014’s film entitled Divergent. Thus, semiotics film theory is used to analyze the movie’s elements. As the topic is related to gender issues, feminist theories are applied in this research. And I also use feminist scholarly writing on the textual and filmic representations of women hero, such as Sherrie A. Inness’ Tough Girls and Action Chicks and Dawn Heinecken’s The Warrior Women of Television. Socio-cultural approach is applied to support the contextual findings in the relation of the construction of female hero in the movie with the reality of American women.
By examining the construction of female action hero in film Divergent, this thesis investigates how the construction challenges the gender norms of American society. I argue that the female action hero in this movie is able to perform masculinity and femininity. I also examine several recent films texts to understand the construction of the female hero. Finally I find that the construction of female hero in Divergent both challenge and persist traditional gender norms and expectations of Western society.
Keyword: female as hero, tough girl, popular culture, science fiction.