Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2020

Thesis Director

Scott M. Walus

Thesis Committee Member

Matthew J. Gill

Thesis Committee Member

Claudia Janssen Danyi

Abstract

While women-owned businesses continue to grow, increasing 58 percent from 2007 to 2018 (Guidant Financial, 2019),producing on-brand communication content remains a challenge. Adding to the challenge, this branded communication must combat the societal narrative that women are less capable of running a business than men and utilize the complex mode of televisual storytelling. The purpose of this creative thesis was to incorporate the work of woman television producers and writers from the comedy-drama genre with semiotics theory to create five webisodes of branded entertainment that married the contradictory sign systems of woman and business owner. By analyzing and implementing the televisual conventions of the comedy-drama genre (specifically the narrative structures, characterization, and visual storytelling through mise en scene and production elements), I created five scripted, episodic webisodes that combatted gender stereotypes and joined in the conversation to marry these two contradictory signs for a woman-owned business in Charleston, IL. This creative thesis is important as it can inspire other women who are business owners, considering running a business, or in media production to keep changing this societal narrative.

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