The production and reception of gender-based content in Pakistani television culture

Cheema, Munira (2015) The production and reception of gender-based content in Pakistani television culture. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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This thesis explores the production and reception of gender-based content in Pakistani television culture. The guiding research question asks how and why such content changed since the `liberalisation’ of the media landscape since 2002, and how have women appropriated this content?

Gendered television content changed in the post-liberalisation period with the highlighting of controversial issues such as honour killings, rape, adultery, the violation of women’s divorce rights, and the subjugation of women in the extended family system. Drawing from theoretical debates on the concepts of publics, the public sphere and cultural citizenship, I argue that these popular cultural spaces can be read in terms of an emerging feminist public sphere where women can engage as members of the public and as cultural citizens.

Based on the data produced from 40 interviews with producers, the study illuminates the agendas and motivations - both commercial and ideological - in producing gendered content. The evidence suggests that controversial issues related to gender deliver ratings if in line with Shariah; issues that explicitly clash with Shariah (homosexuality in particular) do not feature.

To explore how women appropriate this gendered content, I conducted 32 focus groups among women of different ages and classes in Karachi. This research reveals how engagement with this content allows viewers to revisit their intersecting identities as Muslims, women and Pakistanis. The viewers in the lower middle class read this content as Muslims first, and then as women. However, those in the middle class revisit the content in relation to their national identity. This thesis offers an original and comprehensive insight into the production and reception of the gender-based television in Pakistan, and in so doing, makes a fresh contribution to the study of gender, media and culture in Muslim societies.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Arts and Humanities > Media and Film
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and communications > HE7601 Telecommunication industry. Telegraph > HE8689 Radio and television broadcasting
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2015 06:22
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2022 15:49

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