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Robyn Muir

Doctoral Researcher, Faculty of Social Sciences

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Biography

Robyn is a doctoral researcher within the School of Politics and International Relations. Her thesis focuses on exploring the role of femininity within the Disney Princess phenomenon. She explores the phenomenon in three parts: firstly, the images of femininity produced through princess films; secondly, the images of femininity produced in merchandising, marketing and consumer experiences; and finally, how these images of femininity have changed with the introduction of retellings of princess stories.

Before her MRes, Robyn completed her Undergraduate Degree in BA (Hons) Politics at the University of Nottingham. During this time, she wrote her undergraduate dissertation on the gender roles presented within the Disney Princess Franchise.

Robyn is associated within the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice and is the founder of The Princess and the Blog, a blog dedicated to bringing Disney and politics together which covers various topics from Star Wars to Disney Princesses.

Expertise Summary

  • Feminist theory
  • Feminist research methods
  • Constructivist theory
  • Politics of arts and culture
  • Politics of fiction
  • Politics of merchandising and marketing
  • Qualitative research methods

Teaching Summary

Robyn currently teaches on:

POLI1012 Political Theory: From Ancient to Modern

Research Summary

What is the role of femininity within the Disney Princess Phenomenon?

Do the Disney Princess films depict models of femininity?

I conducted a textual and thematic analysis on each of the 15 Disney Princess Films: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (1937), Cinderella (1950), Sleeping Beauty (1959), The Black Cauldron (1985), The Litte Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), Pocahontas (1995), Mulan (1998), Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001), The Princess and the Frog (2009), Tangled (2010), Brave (2012), Frozen (2013) and finally Moana (2016). I viewed each of these films multiple times to capture scenes, quotes and songs, noting down key tropes and patterns within the films. I viewed each film through a femininity framework that I have developed for this research. Then, I was able to create an analytical typology through thematic analysis. This identified different 'waves' of femininity within the Disney Princess phenomenon.

Does the Disney Princess Phenomenon depict models of femininity through consumer experiences?

In order to examine the merchandising of the Disney Princesses I conducted a content analysis of Disney Princess products from January 2016 to February 2017. I identified patterns of exposure of the princesses and assessing whether some princesses receive more exposure than others. I also conducted an auto ethnography throughout Disney Princess consumer experiences. This allowed me to explore the models of femininity presented in the present day, and compare images of femininity within consumer experiences and film.

Supervisors

Professor Steven Fielding

Professor Lucy Sargisson

School of Politics and International Relations

Law and Social Sciences building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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