Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Human and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Andrew Welsh

Advisor Role


Second Advisor

Dr. Thomas Fleming

Advisor Role

Second Reader


This thesis examines to what extent traditional gender norms are adhered to by the depiction of stalkers within films. Stalking has only recently been recognized as a social problem. Due to the relatively new attention, there has been a lack of research surrounding the way in which stalkers and stalking behaviours are being portrayed within popular media, particularly film media. This paper uses a qualitative ethnographic content analysis approach to examine these stalking depictions. Twenty films that had a high level of stalking portrayed behaviours, and thriller genres rather than horror genres, were collected and analyzed. It was found that traditional gender norms were largely adhered to by the stalker, both male and female. However, there were two outliers when it came to diversion of traditional gender norms for female victims of stalking. The analysis demonstrated female victims were more likely to appear nude and victims of more cruel violence. Lastly, the larger picture of stalking as a social problem also found that stalker narrative films leave the victim without legal help; rather they opt for a more neo-liberalist approach to protecting oneself from the perpetrator.

Convocation Year