Bu Wei. Meijie yu
xingbie (Media and Gender).
This book investigates the relationship between media and gender on a theoretical as well as on a practical level. It aims to integrate women’s issues into research on the media in order to promote equality between men and women within the practice of the media world.
bases her research on a
traditional media theory constructed around five core principles.
she provides no further details on the creator or the origin of that
Regarding gender, she makes two fundamental assumptions: firstly, from
point of view, male and female gender roles are culturally acquired
biologically determined; secondly, true equality between the sexes has
been realized in
is Professor at the
This publication consists of three major parts; the first part introduces major Western as well as Chinese media theories and policies executed within the media; the second part reports diverse aspects of the media world in practice; finally, the third part compiles articles written by the author criticizing various aspects of the media.
The first part is subdivided into five chapters: a general introduction on research within the field of communication from the perspective of gender, on research about stereotypical images of the two sexes within the media, on the environment, policies and actions of non-governmental organizations related to gender and communication, on the mission of Chinese women in the media, and on recent debates about how to integrate gender issues into media education.
The second part also consists of five chapters: a comparison between male and female journalists on their current professional development and career opportunities within the media profession, a 1998 report on the relation between new media techniques and gender, e.g. the different ways male and female journalists use the internet, an investigation on television programs made by women and/or made for female viewers, e.g. what kind of programs exist, what do they aim to achieve, what kind of audience do they want to reach etc., a debate of the magazine Female Friend (Nü you), and a discussion of the media presentation of male and female children.
The third part, too, has five chapters: discussions on the unique viewpoint and style of journalistic writing; on sex, gender and media critics; on how long the traditional responsibilities of men and women will possibly last; on why women do not watch the television program “Women Hold Up Half the Sky”, and on what aspects related to girls’ rights particular attention should be paid to.
Each chapter contains a bibliography of the Chinese and extensive Western scholarship that the author employed.
Quite a few statistical tables complement the publication. Most contain data that compare men and women involved in the media – e.g. tables about the age and educational background of journalists, income, working areas, career level, female and male journalists’ opinion on their working and living conditions and career chances and their judgement on the equality of those conditions and chances, and a broad variety of tables on work-related habits of internet usage. Unfortunately the data are from 1995 to 1997, so that they do not completely reflect the current state.
On the whole, Bu Wei’s publication serves as a useful introduction to gender issues related to media. Touching on a broad range of issues, her book offers valuable information for scholars from many different fields.