LASICS .::. Open Conference Systems, IAMCR 2010: Communication and Citizenship

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Citizens’ Consciousness of Women: The Challenges of Thai Women and Thai Mass Media during the Era of Democratic Bloom (1973-1976)

Chanettee Tinnam

Last modified: 2010-07-05


Political awakening which resulted from intellectuals’ demand for democracy in October 1973, the declaration of 1975 as the International Women’s Year, and the influence of socialism and liberalism created a phenomenon of ‘citizens’ consciousness of women’ in the mass media like never before in Thai history.
This articles aims to explain how the events that occurred during 1973-1976, which was when democracy was blooming in Thai society, helped create changes in citizens’ consciousness in regard to women throughout the media, by a study of newspapers, magazines, movies, and literary works of progressive women during 1973-1976. The study finds that even though some progressive women challenged to build a new citizen’s consciousness, in another aspect women themselves were not yet freed from being the victims. Women were not the driving force for the fight using their own methods, but they went with the flow under the patriarchal social structure and concepts. The fight to establish women’s discourses as citizens in the media appeared active, but was lacking variety and was restricted under the concepts of socialism, liberalism and social variables. The consciousness of the agenda setting in regard to women of the mass media was more of a trend following political awakening than the consciousness of gender inequality. However, such was a start of the appearance of the voices of women as citizens in the public sphere and provided a fighting opportunity to be learned and adapted by women of later generations.

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