Theories of gender and the nation posit that women are prescribed certain roles according to the needs of the state at a particular historical moment and that such roles are frequently articulated in media discourses. In China, the government has a long-standing tradition of using the state-run media to convey a national vision and mould its citizens. Hence, the mediated representation of Chinese women has ebbed and flowed according to radical shifts in government policy and ideology. In recent decades, massive economic and social changes have necessitated a quest for legitimacy on the part of the government through a vast reorganization of the country’s ideological environment, including the official construction of gender. This paper discusses three discursive representations of women currently articulated in state-run Chinese newspapers –worker, housewife, and consumer – and examines how the government press emphasizes the equality of Chinese women while simultaneously positioning them as inferior to men.
Keywords: nationalism, media representations, gender, women, China
How to Cite:
Wallis, C., (2017) “Chinese Women in the Official Chinese Press: Discursive Constructions of Gender in Service to the State”, Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture 3(1), p.94-108. doi: https://doi.org/10.16997/wpcc.19