Reality or reconstructed? a comparative study of media representation of rural women entrepreneurs pre- and post-pandemic (2017-2021) in Mainland China

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

The study investigates how Chinese rural women entrepreneurs are portrayed and represented by the media and how these images (might) change over time in the dual contexts and impacts of rural revitalisation and the Covid-19 pandemic from an interdisciplinary theoretical perspective. Two direct comparisons are made: the local V.S. returns and before V.S. after the pan. The findings contradict the mainstream academic conclusion that the media representations of women entrepreneurs are significantly gendered biased. By contrast, this research discloses that the pandemic, to some extent, reinforces the media representations of women entrepreneurs as a driving force in rural development and renders them more visibility, reflecting some form of media celebration instead of exclusion. The findings also reveal that the socially and media-constructed identities of rural women entrepreneurs, to a certain level, indeed challenge the stereotypes, especially for those rural left-behind women. However, the reconstructed transformative media images - from ‘double bind’ to ‘balance it all’ - resonate with the increasing entanglement of postfeminism with neoliberalism (Gill & Scharff, 2011). With this, we further critique that: doesn’t it reinforce a new gendered stereotype under the guise of neoliberal feminism? Since this study is limited in the news coverage, timeframes, and context to reveal detailed effect mechanisms of the dual impacts of rural revitalisation and the Covid-19 pandemic, we call for more in-depth and longitudinal case studies from rural women entrepreneurs’ perspectives.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventInternational Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) 2022 Annual Conference - Tsinghua University, Beijing
Duration: 11 Jul 2019 → …
https://iamcr.org/beijing2022

Conference

ConferenceInternational Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) 2022 Annual Conference
CityBeijing
Period11/07/19 → …
Internet address

Keywords

  • Return Entrepreneurs
  • Rural Women’s Entrepreneurship
  • Media Representation

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