Publication Date

Summer 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Communication and Training

First Advisor

Jason Zingsheim, Ph. D.

Second Advisor

Marilyn Yirku, M.A.

Third Advisor

Deborah James, Ph.D.


There is not much literature that speaks to the identity of singles, considering this is a growing group in our society today. Singleness may be by choice or by circumstance; nevertheless, this is a group worth investigating. Over the course of the last decade there have been various media programs that depict or explore the idea of singleness and the challenges singles may encounter maneuvering through the world of coupledom. There has been much dialog in prominent mainstream mediums as the Washington Post and ABC’s Nightline concerning the plight of single black women the decreasing number of marriages in the black community. This paper will analyze the network sitcom Girlfriends focusing on how mediated images are performed and presented as they relate to single black women. Specifically, examine how popular culture still perpetuates heteronormative ideologies and stereotypical representations of women and black women. In addition, I will analyze how these ideologies influence and oppose the construction of the single black women.