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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Teresa Bergman

First Committee Member

Qingwen Dong

Second Committee Member

Paul Turpin


This study is an ideological criticism of the acclaimed Amazon digital television series Transparent. Transparent is a series that focuses heavily on LGBTQ+ issues, including a transgender protagonist and several LGBTQ+ characters. Recognizing the importance of LGBTQ+ representation in media, this study draws from a methodological framework in Kenneth Burke’s rhetorical concept of identification as well as Judith Butler and John Sloop’s theories pertaining to gender identity in order to assess how this series represents gender. Analyzing key scenes in Transparent’s first and second seasons, this thesis argues that Transparent offers several sympathetic portrayal of LGBTQ+ characters, depicts gender as culturally constructed, and queers heteronormativity with its focus on LGBTQ+ issues. However, Transparent frequently relies on underdeveloped and often stereotypical depictions of LGBTQ+ characters, does not display LGBTQ+ actors in major roles, and often reinforces dominant ideologies such as heteronormativity and hegemonic masculinity in its identification. As a result, this series ultimately is mixed in advancing LGBTQ+ representation on television.





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