Aktaş, 2020 – EN

A Sociological Assessment on the Reflection of Gender Roles on Television Series



Television is an easily accessible communication tool and has a significant visual impact. Even though the audience has a heterogeneous structure and unknown defining characteristics, television has the power to transform the semantic world of individuals with its programs. Therewithal, the power to attract the audience with its programs that will allure individuals from all social groups is the most noteworthy feature that distinguishes television from other traditional media types. Particularly, the ability to reach every section with different techniques makes television appealing considering the existence of individuals who are illiterate, hearing, or visually impaired. While the news, TV series, education, or entertainment oriented programs are offered to the taste of the audience, they are affected by the changes in economic, social, and cultural fields. These changes also affect the individual’s worldview, their ability to analyze and interpret cases, and their expectations and perception about the future at different levels.

In recent years, it has been noticed that the perception of “the ideal body” is mostly presented through actresses in prime-time Turkish TV series. Besides, scenes about physical appearance and vanity are more salient than the scenes about the forms of domination of men over women in the family and social life, power struggles among women, gender-based roles and responsibilities, dialog, and relationships towards understanding. Through this perspective, this study aims to critically analyze from which points Turkish series, which are presented with similar subject contents on television in recent years, mirror the cultural representations of gender in a sociological context. In this study, while the themes of gender roles in Turkish series are investigated, dialogues emphasizing gender inequality, spatial appearances locating women and men in public and private areas, and visual presentations highlighting aesthetics and physical appearance are inquired through critical discourse.

Keywords: Sociology of Communication, Representation of Women in Media, TV series, Gender, Patriarchy