Representation of Women in Contemporary Regional Television

By: Shilpa Hattiangadi  

Women’s portrayal on television is a popular subject of study among researchers after realizing the effects television viewing has on its audiences. A vital function of media is to entertain masses. The content is voraciously consumed by the masses without too much of analysis or critical thinking. It plays a powerful role in shaping social beliefs, reinforcing behavior, forming attitudes regardless of whether the portrayal of characters is in positive or negative light, reflecting strengths and weakness or vulnerability, aiming to confine the characters within a set framework or attempting to breaking glass ceilings. Has the portrayal of women in television transformed according to changing times? Does the portrayal vary from the national to the regional level? Is the depiction doing justice to the woman of the twenty-first century who has struck a beautiful balance between profession and home? Have the mass media also attempted to transform the image of woman from being a mere commodity to being shown gracefully and respectfully? This paper attempts to study the portrayal of women characters of today’s popular Marathi regional soaps and understand if their depiction is close to reality. With the help of a survey, the researcher has been able to identify popular soaps in Marathi, and will analyze the content and the depiction of characters, particularly women of the top five serials that have emerged from the survey.

Television, Portrayal of women, Regional television
Media Cultures
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Ms. Shilpa Hattiangadi

Assistant Professor, Communication Media for Children, SNDT Women's University, India
Maharashtra, India

I am the Head of the Department of Communication Media for Children, SNDT Women's University, Pune, which is a Post-Graduate Department offering media programs for women graduates aspiring to make careers in media.I possess a double Master's in Communication Media for Children and Mass Communication and Journaslism. I am currently pursuing a Post Graduate Diploma in Media and Entertainment Management from a renowned institute Mudra Institute of Communication Ahmedabad. I am also pursuing my Ph D in Media and Children fron SNDT Women's University. I teach Introduction to Communication Studies, Writing for Media, Children and Media, Women and Media to name a few. I have presented research papers at 2 National and 2 International conferences earlier. My interest lies in studying women and children as an audience and their representation in media.