Title: Online Self-Representation of Military Women – The Case of Thailand
Stream: Cultural and Media Studies
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Chanapang Pongpiboonkiat, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
In media studies, mass media represent genders in accordance with institutional values. Traditional gender roles also play a crucial part in constructing media stereotypes that resonate with cultural values and expectations. For Thailand, where patriarchy has been deeply established, media representation associates women with being a good wife, a loving mother and an inferior being that cannot function without male guidance. Such stereotypes are also applied to Thai military women, whose media portrayal characterizes their womanhood opposed to their military role or achievements. In addition, military women are underrepresented compared to male military counterparts.
Through social media, individuals can present themselves in the format of online content. As such, this study explores self-representation of Thai military women shared on their personal Facebook accounts. Using a semi-structured, in-depth interview, 30 participants from four military forces: Army, Air Force, Navy and the Nominal Head of the Thai Armed Forces, explain their firsthand experience and personal values as a military woman. Furthermore, the interview allows them to share their process of self-representation on social media which returns empirical insight to the study. All interviews are coded with NVivo and analyzed using the thematic analysis following Braun and Clarke (2006).
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