Women Watching Television: Surfing Between Fantasy and Reality

Authors

  • Aanmona Priyadarshani,

    1. MSS from Jahangirnagar University specialising in anthropology. She is currently working at Pathways of Women's Empowerment RPC, based at the BRAC Development Institute, BRAC University.
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  • Samia Afroz Rahim

    1. Researcher at the Pathways of Women's Empowerment RPC, South Asia, based at the BRAC Development Institute at BRAC University. She is also the Communications Officer for the Programme.
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Abstract

Young women are increasingly experiencing greater visibility and mobility in Bangladeshi society. The new public spaces they occupy together with the more traditional private spaces are greatly mediated by the narratives beamed on television. This article looks at how Bangladeshi women engage with television and the meanings and choices they derive from it. It examines which elements the women choose to adopt and which they discard as being alien to their lifestyles. Through these choices, they can be active subjects in the media narrative, selecting and adapting pieces to fit their purpose rather than being a passive consumer of television outputs. Television has blurred the boundaries between the public and private and its power to influence representations is significant. If this power can be used to break down traditional stereotypes and replace dominant stories and images, it could be an important step towards new ways of being and perhaps a pathway of women's empowerment.

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