A critical examination of female representation in local mainstream TV dramas by TVB

Ka Sin FU

Research output: ThesisHonours Projects (HP)


Media is a tool to promote social values. To certain extent, it shapes our value or lifestyle. However, it does not entirely reflect the reality and truth as it mostly serves large companies. What we see and know from the media is what the authorities wants us to know. Therefore, representation on media can go wrong. Considering the fact that media has much a great effort on people’s values and thought, it is necessary to pay attention the representation and attempt to make criticism on it. Meanwhile, TV is a tool to not only shaping people’s values but also provide new ideas. When it comes to media representation, female representation is a heated topic in terms of research. Females used to get limited representation due to the lack of screen time as the males are the one who dominate it. Recently, females are getting more roles with greater representation that values for their intelligence, independence as well as strength. They also get roles with more varieties such as a leading characters and villains. Nevertheless, this trend is being criticized as it tends to portray a strong woman in an unfeminine way. Gender relationship remains unchanged even when females getting more leading roles. In addition, they mostly choose family or love life over their career or else they need to pay great personal cost.
To explore recent female representation, a qualitative textual analysis to 2 local mainstream TV drama is conducted to examine storyline, character development and character interactions. It is found that both dramas are willing to show strong women in a femininity way. Their characters are also believable by having realistic flaws and complexity. However, many of them rely on male emotionally and their roles are remained to be supportive characters. The dramas also show that females face more struggle to balance their personal life and career.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationBachelor of Arts (Honours)
  • CHAN, Kit Wa, Anita 陳潔華, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Honours Project (HP)
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Liberal Studies Education (Four-year Full-time)
  • Programme code: A4B071
  • Course code: SSC4240
  • Alt. title: Gender representation in local mainstream TV programme: A discourse analysis of female characters in Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB) dramas


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