The representation of gender and emotionality in the major public media has long
been the subject of much discussion and research. This thesis sets out to assess the
impact on this field of representations of docusoaps, a television programme form,
which by crossing generic boundaries has the potential to unpick the ties binding the
chain of dichotomies that organise everyday mental maps around the binary
oppositions between male/female, reason/emotion, rational/irrational, and public
This question is explored in four main ways; historical and theoretical research on
changing concepts of gender and emotionality; contextual research on the origins and
development of docusoaps as a genre; detailed textual analyses of the organisation of
meaning in three programmes chosen to represent the major sub genres of
contemporary docusoaps; and explorations of audience understandings and responses
to these programmes using focus group methodology.
A Master's Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Philosophy of Loughborough University.