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Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Communication Studies


Communication Studies

First Reader/Committee Chair

Muhtaseb, Ahlam


In 2016, Disney animation studios released their newest princess film Moana. The film follows a seemingly feminist plot line of a young female heroine who saves the world from destruction. This study examines Moana (2016) in relation to the views on feminism in the U.S. Disney’s large social and economic influence provides rich grounds for this research. Using an ideological rhetorical criticism, I uncovered the presented and suggested elements of the film. These elements combined with research on U.S. feminist ideology allowed three ideological themes to emerge: ecofeminism, power feminism, and post-feminism. The three themes are threaded to create a seemingly feminist patchwork ideology. I argue that the patchwork ideology that is created is a result of the political and economic conditions present around the production of Moana. Furthermore, I argue that this patchwork ideology is ultimately harmful to current feminist ideology in the U.S. This study adds insight into how feminist ideology is used in popular media.