Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants

Title

Televised Sisterhood and Solidarity: Featuring Female Foursomes and Their Fans

Department

Liberal Studies Department

College

Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies

Disciplines

Arts and Humanities

Abstract

Perhaps the most elemental tenets of feminism, sisterhood and solidarity, run through the female foursome shows like an I-beam or a central column of support providing a framework on which to hang episodes that confront the women of Hot in Cleveland, Sex and the City, Girlfriends, Cashmere Mafia, Living Single, Designing Women, and The Golden Girls. This common thread of sisterhood and solidarity often evidences itself at the conclusion of an episode and/or in a specified communal space for the foursome. Each of these female foursome programs promotes the mantra that none of these women are ever truly alone. They have their sisters, and through collective sisterhood, and female solidarity, they will meet the social, political, economic and cultural challenges that may face each woman individually or all women collectively. Although certainly the tools of sisterhood and solidarity point toward a more collective action approach to confronting structural oppressions encountered by women, these female foursome programs address both the structural oppression of women in the United States and the personal conflict of individual female characters. While these struggles emerge oftentimes in familiar locations and conditions, sisterhood flows throughout these series between and among characters. When one sister is in need, there is frequently a group response. The sisterhood and solidarity produced on these female foursome shows resonates with fans. Many fans post about friendships in their individual lives, and often fans respond in communal ways to longtime fan forum members indicating their membership in online shared community. Through this conference paper, I explore the relationship between sisterhood and solidarity generated on female foursome shows and examine the audience reception and engagement of these relationships through fan posts in online fan forums focused on these female foursome programs.

Conference Name

PCA/ACA

Conference Location

New Orleans, LA

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