Gender And Sex In Star Trek

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As Richard (1997) writes, “there is nothing like Star Trek…Of all the universes of science fiction, the Star Trek universe is the most varied and extensive, and by all accounts the series is the most popular science fiction ever.” Star Trek is considered to be one of the most successful shows of American pop-culture till today. Consisting of decades of television and films, numerous novels and comics, and merchandise ranging from toys, games, clothing and more, Star Trek is nothing short of a cultural phenomenon in American popular culture. At the time of inception (late 1960s), Star Trek was originally pitched by creator Gene Roddenberry as a means by which promotion of a progressive ‘liberal’ agenda could be expressed through popular culture.…show more content…
This shows that Star Trek (like most popular culture texts) is unable to completely escape dominant ideologies such as politics, race and gender and sex from its depiction of the utopian future. By understanding the Marxist perspective of ideology, the essay will discuss the ways in dominant ideologies of politics, race and gender and sex can be identified and explored within texts drawing from examples within Star Trek and the two episodes: Let That Be Your Last Battlefield, from The Original Series (TOS); and The Measure of a Man, from The Next Generation (TNG). Ideology in cultural and communication studies, according to Hartley (2002, p. 103), is seen as any knowledge that is posed as natural or generally applicable, especially when its ‘social origins are suppressed, ex-nominated or…show more content…
In TOS, Captain Kirk is portrayed as aggressive and masculine, justifying interventions as being ‘for their own good’ whereas in TNG, Captain Jean-Luc Piccard is more diplomatic and rational, in relation to US foreign policies during the late 1980s. In accordance to Marxist Critic, the qualities of the leaders of the Enterprise, metaphors for the dominant and ideal ideologies for society, are presented as part of a 'utopian future' leads viewers to believe that the notion of an ‘ideal society’ which is ‘morally preferable’ are that in which the dominant political ideologies exist, leading viewers to ‘internalize and even act to achieve it as an ideal version of the future’ (Ott & Aoki, 2001, p.

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