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Title: Media representation of Buddhist women in Taiwan : a case study of Da-Ai drama
Author: Liao, Pei-Ru
ISNI:       0000 0004 2705 7461
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2011
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In an era bombarded by information society has become more and more dependent on mass media communication and computerised communication technology. As "religion finds technology" (Biersdorjer 2002), religious symbols can be found in media texts. As media consumption and interpretation processes can be subjective, Hoover suggests that modernity has changed the meanings of "traditionally defined religion" (2006). The textually based study on religion is inadequate to study the socio-cultural context of the lay people as well as the changing practices of religions in the media age. This thesis selects three dramas from Da-Ai Drama (the most popular TV programme on the Da-Ai TV network) to examine how the Tzu-Chi organisation, the largest Buddhist civil organisation in Taiwan, uses its own TV network, DaAi TV network, to spread Buddhism. The narrative structure of the selected dramas shows the intricate relationship between the secular discourse on gender and the religious teachings. To further understand how Da-Ai Drama is perceived by the audience or Tzu-Chi's followers, fifteen one-to-one interviews were conducted in Taiwan and discussions from online users were collected to further understand the audience's response to Da-Ai Drama. Results from the interviews suggest that there is a reassessment of religion in an East Asian context in the twenty-first century. This thesis provides an innovative research method to explore the relationship between media discourse, gender discourse, and religious discourse. In the media age, religious teachings can be transmitted via various media platforms. Written texts are no longer the only way to transmit religious teachings. Also the media provides a greater choice of ways in which lay people may practise religions. A media approach to studying Buddhism provides a different perspective on the discussion of women in Buddhism.
Supervisor: Bell, D. ; Tomalin, E. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available