Social change and media representations of rape: how TV series reshape the global imaginary on violence against women (and why)


Violence against women is one of the most persistent and widespread phenomena that human societies know and in many contexts its practice still proves difficult to eradicate. On the other hand, its perception and acceptance as normative are rapidly changing in every part of the globe, thanks to feminism, policies derived from studies of gendered violence, and global phenomena such as #Metoo. In this change, the medium of television has played and continues to play a fundamental role, both as a receiver and diffuser of the collective imaginary, and as a generator of its transformations. In this essay we ask about the specific logics that emerge from television narrative in relation to violence against women, especially around rape. Through a discussion of the different television formats and genres (fiction and non fiction, including broadcast, cable TV, streaming and video demand) we intend to examine the links beteween social change and television clichés in the representation of violence and rape, to see if and how these have changed over time. How does the culture of rape emerge and/or appear in various television genres and how is it changing in new streaming video content? What factors are most influencing the changes taking place in television representations of violence against women?

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22840753n20p219

Keywords: Social Change; Imaginary; Violence against women; Media; Cultural Industries

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