Term of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Sabrina Ross

Committee Member 1

Antonio Gutierrez De Blume

Committee Member 2

Julie Garlen

Committee Member 3

John Weaver

Committee Member 3 Email



The Star Wars film trilogies are a cross-generational phenomenon. Due to its powerful and pervasive nature, the messages within Star War’s films must be problematized. As a cultural artifact, Star Wars was used to explore the representations of women across time and three generations. Using a conceptual framework based on cultural curriculum studies and feminist theory, this study explored the significance of Star Wars as gender text by interrogating the representations of women in the Star Wars film saga and what these representations teach about gender and femininity. By focusing on the themes of agency, empowerment, and identity, this work investigated the (un)reached potential of the representations of women in Star Wars films to serve as a tool for social change. It shows how Star Wars films hold significance for the identity formation of young women, broader goals for social justice, cultural curriculum studies, and the field of education. Our current state of education and broader society is implicated by this research as they must be willing to embrace the changing perceptions and understandings of gender norms and femininity.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material