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‘Asian Woman’ Magazine: A Discourse Analysis on the construction of ‘Race’ and ‘Gender’

Timewell, Manivone (2011) ‘Asian Woman’ Magazine: A Discourse Analysis on the construction of ‘Race’ and ‘Gender’. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This study is a discourse analysis of ‘Asian Woman’ magazine, specifically examining how ‘race’ and ‘gender’ are constructed within the publication. The study employs a combination of methods which are thematic and narrative analysis as described by Braun & Clarke (2006), semiotics as described by Williamson (1978) and a focus group to confirm the analysis of the text carried out by the independent researcher. The study is conducted with an awareness of the intersectionality and subjectivity of the researcher as an Asian woman. The study revealed that ‘gender’ was constructed through an emphasis on appearance and (Hetero) sexuality giving a narrow hegemonic form of femininity, with the ‘racial’ construction of Asian women achieved through a cultural hybridization of Eastern and Western influences resulting in the ‘Eurasian’ woman. This highlights the colonial ideologies that drive the social construct of the ‘Eurasian’ woman apparent in the magazine. Analysis also indicated that the magazine is not aimed at Muslim women due to the negative way the Islamic faith is framed within the publication. Further studies would include an analysis of the focus group dynamics as well as a comparison of ‘Asian Woman’ with a peer publication such as ‘Cosmopolitan’.

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