Feminist Jedi and a politically correct empire: Popular culture and transformative bridges in alternative media content

Joshua Atkinson, Scott Chapuis, Gabriel Cruz, Shanna Gilkeson, Chelsea Kaunert, Yannick Kluch, Martin Kimathi M.


This article explores the role of writing about popular culture in politically motivated alternative media. In our study, we engaged in different forms of textual analysis in order to investigate three kinds of articles about Star Wars: The Force Awakens in conservative and liberal alternative media. Specifically, we conducted a close reading of reviews of the film, opinion articles about the film and ‘fluff’ articles about the film. Essentially, we found that the three types of popular culture articles were necessary for the establishment of strong transformative bridges that allowed for intersections between activist alternative media and mainstream media. In addition, we also found the ideological assumptions embedded within the fluff articles to be the most important aspect of this bridge; these ideologies about culture and consumerism allowed for the strongest intersections to emerge.


Alternative media, The Force Awakens, popular culture, Star Wars, textual analysis, transformative bridges

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