Gender ideologies in the Vietnamese printed media

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Since the late 1980s, studies in language and gender have been turning to the role of discourse as social practice which reflects as well as constitutes social reality (Litosseliti 2006). Discourse, hence, has the power of shaping gender relations as part of social reality. Turning to the context of Vietnam as an advanced country in terms of gender equality promotion, this study is concerned with what is the quality of that equality. The study analyses a number of Vietnamese media articles published on and related to the International Women’s Day – March 8, 2010 to find out the gender ideologies that prevail. Adopting a feminist critical discourse analysis perspective (Lazar 2005), the study draws on a systemic functional framework for multimodal text analysis. The analytical framework includes aspects of the grammar of Halliday (1994), Kress and van Leeuwen (1996)’s visual grammar and van Dijk (1988)’s guidelines for news structure. The study finds that besides the progressive changes in Vietnamese women’s roles in the public domain and their equal status in the society in liberal terms, traditional Confucian expectations on them in the domestic domain still persist. The ever-rising social responsibilities and the ‘monolithic’ traditional roles are blended to pose an unfair challenge for Vietnamese women.


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