Morgan Cappa is a member of the class of 2021. She is a Statistics major with a minor in Italian Studies, having completed the Clare Boothe Luce 2020 Summer Fellowship specified for women in STEM. Morgan hopes to continue onto a graduate program in statistics, for which the statistical skills and knowledge gained from this research project will be incredibly useful. Morgan will also be able to expand on her research conducted during the summer fellowship during the 2020-2021 school year as the focus of her Senior Year Independent Project.
The Office was a culturally influential American comedy show that followed the lives and office interaction of a group of paper company workers, both male and female. The original research questions for the project were: “What is the balance of gender dialogue for each season and the episodes within each season?” and “What is the balance of character complexity for men and women throughout the series?” By exploring these topics through the lens of this show, the goal was to identify possible similar trends of gender representation across the entertainment industry as a whole. Using tidying of data, text mining, and minimal topic modeling, it was ultimately able to be determined that there is a clear difference between female and male representation in The Office, with the data showing male characters having a higher amount of dialogue for both seasons and individual episodes on average. The data also strongly suggests that there is a difference both in male and female character development over time, as well as the general topics of conversation for both genders. The evidence obtained through this research suggests that there is a difference in male and female representation for The Office, and is in line with similar studies conducted on the topic, therefore suggesting a greater trend of female underrepresentation in the media industry.