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Deconstructing Gender in Cartoon Programming on Childrens Television Channels in India A Textual Analysis

Ruchi Jaggi


The post-liberalization era impacted Indian media significantly. Indian television in particular was a major beneficiary of this change. The programming content, technique, reach and reception got significantly reconfigured. The evolution of exclusive childrens television channels was a major development in this scenario. The last fifteen years have witnessed the rise of many 24-hour childrens television channels in India. The myriad content (Western, Japanese and indigenous) on childrens television channels is redefining the social and cultural construction of childhood. However academic research studies that articulate this are very few and far between in the Indian context.
The role of television in developing ideas on gender roles and identities has been researched in different global contexts. This paper would endeavour to build a critical narrative on the representation of gender (masculine, feminine and others) in cartoon shows on childrens television channels in India.
In this research, the textual analysis of the narrative of four most popular cartoon shows on childrens television channels as demonstrated by the television ratings has been conducted. The messages being delivered through television programming have been analyzed by examining the gender roles fulfilled by different cartoon characters feminine, masculine or others and how gender stereotypes are propagated or challenged.
The weekend episodes of the top four shows for three months (March May 2014) are the sample for textual analysis. The research has been contextualized in the feminist theory paradigm and uses Stuart Halls theorizing of representation/ encoding and decoding for the narrative analysis of these televisions shows (texts and visuals).


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