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Eyeing marriage equality : news media representation of same-sex marriage legalization debate in Taiwan

Wang, Zhixin LU (2017) MKVM13 20171
Media and Communication Studies
Abstract
In 2016, Taiwan was on the verge of becoming the first in Asia to allow same-sex marriage. An amendment aimed at changing marriage definition in Civil Code has passed the first-round reading in legislative committee in 26 December 2016. However, although Taiwan is seen as one of the most gay-friendly places in Asia, the same-sex marriage bill has generated intensive debates among citizens. And massive street demonstrations on both sides have rolled through the city of Taipei over the last few months. During the legalization process, the media has played a significant role in presenting the arguments for and against marriage equality. How a controversial issue is covered will also affect readers’ perception of it.

The aim of this thesis... (More)
In 2016, Taiwan was on the verge of becoming the first in Asia to allow same-sex marriage. An amendment aimed at changing marriage definition in Civil Code has passed the first-round reading in legislative committee in 26 December 2016. However, although Taiwan is seen as one of the most gay-friendly places in Asia, the same-sex marriage bill has generated intensive debates among citizens. And massive street demonstrations on both sides have rolled through the city of Taipei over the last few months. During the legalization process, the media has played a significant role in presenting the arguments for and against marriage equality. How a controversial issue is covered will also affect readers’ perception of it.

The aim of this thesis is to investigate how does Taiwanese media represent the two opposing sides in the same-sex marriage debate, as well as what role the media play in shaping the tone of the debate. By applying the method of qualitative content analysis, I examined and analyzed the news coverage of same-sex marriage legalization in three main Taiwanese newspapers within two months. The study reaches the conclusion that within the media coverage of same-sex marriage opponents, the homosexuals are negatively represented as the other, as deviation, as a threat to social survival and social norms. On the contrary, within the supportive arguments, homosexuals are represented as normal citizens as heterosexuals, and therefore they deserve the equal right to marry. In general, the opposite opinions are more vocal in the press media, which shape negative tone of same-sex marriage discussion. (Less)
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author
Wang, Zhixin LU
supervisor
organization
course
MKVM13 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
same-sex marriage, Taiwan, newspaper, marriage equality, media representation
language
English
id
8906835
date added to LUP
2017-08-21 09:00:32
date last changed
2017-08-21 09:00:32
@misc{8906835,
  abstract     = {In 2016, Taiwan was on the verge of becoming the first in Asia to allow same-sex marriage. An amendment aimed at changing marriage definition in Civil Code has passed the first-round reading in legislative committee in 26 December 2016. However, although Taiwan is seen as one of the most gay-friendly places in Asia, the same-sex marriage bill has generated intensive debates among citizens. And massive street demonstrations on both sides have rolled through the city of Taipei over the last few months. During the legalization process, the media has played a significant role in presenting the arguments for and against marriage equality. How a controversial issue is covered will also affect readers’ perception of it. 

The aim of this thesis is to investigate how does Taiwanese media represent the two opposing sides in the same-sex marriage debate, as well as what role the media play in shaping the tone of the debate. By applying the method of qualitative content analysis, I examined and analyzed the news coverage of same-sex marriage legalization in three main Taiwanese newspapers within two months. The study reaches the conclusion that within the media coverage of same-sex marriage opponents, the homosexuals are negatively represented as the other, as deviation, as a threat to social survival and social norms. On the contrary, within the supportive arguments, homosexuals are represented as normal citizens as heterosexuals, and therefore they deserve the equal right to marry. In general, the opposite opinions are more vocal in the press media, which shape negative tone of same-sex marriage discussion.},
  author       = {Wang, Zhixin},
  keyword      = {same-sex marriage,Taiwan,newspaper,marriage equality,media representation},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Eyeing marriage equality : news media representation of same-sex marriage legalization debate in Taiwan},
  year         = {2017},
}