The Ever-changing Roles of Chinese Women in Society: A Content Analysis and Semiotic Analysis of some Contemporary Chinese Films

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Title: The Ever-changing Roles of Chinese Women in Society: A Content Analysis and Semiotic Analysis of some Contemporary Chinese Films
Authors: Hao, Yiren
Date: 2012
Abstract: One major question in the area of Feminist Media Studies is to analyze the stereotypical female role portrayals in media. Researchers in this area have examined diverse media including television, radio, films, textbooks, literature and so on. Empirical evidence provided by these studies shows that women in media are often underrepresented or stereotypically portrayed in traditional roles such as housewives or mothers associated with feminine values, such as dependent, submissive, and passive. Using content analysis and semiotic analysis, this study is designed to examine the portrayals of female roles in a sample of contemporary (1949-2010) Chinese films. Content analysis is employed to examine how women have been portrayed in films, with the primary focus on the frequency of three types of female roles including (1) traditional roles, (2) modern role, and (3) ideal role. Results suggest that during this long period of time, representations and constructions of women in films have shifted from promotion of gender equality, to diminishing and erasing gender difference, and finally regressed to confining them to traditional roles while emphasizing traditional feminine values and expectations. In using semiotic analysis, this research is able to outline the connotative meanings of the female characters as well as the implicit cultural values and messages of gender that are embedded in films. On this cultural analysis, the findings reveal that female role portrayals in films, which are influenced by political, cultural, and social changes, remained associated with traditional feminine stereotypes, values, and expectations.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/20481
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-5081
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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