Stereotypical Identities Discourse Analysis of Media Images of Women in Pakistan

Rabia Ali, Saira Batool


Stereotypical portrayal of women through images and text in the media has been discussed and debated widely across the globe. The area remains relatively under published in the context of the third world especially Pakistan. To fill this gap this paper is an attempt to examine the role of the media in creating gender identities. Data for this study comes from selected English language newspaper namely “THE NEWS”. Discourse analysis of text and images - the most common way of producing and transmitting social meaning attached to social realities was employed to interpret of the data. The data reveals that the images and text produced through the media are biased, patriarchal and they reinforce male hegemony and control over women’s bodies and their minds. By doing this the media is strengthening the existing power structure of the Pakistani society. The images of women produced are those of victims of violence both domestic and public, sex objects, passive, dependent, weak and engaged in domestic roles. Consequently, standard images of feminity are idealized and normalized in the real world. Such practices act as barrier for women to escape traditional gender roles and expectations. The study argues that such images reinforce stereotypical roles and hence promote gender inequality instead of emancipation.


Gender stereotypes, discourse analysis, media images, Pakistan

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