Image, social role and social weight of Chinese women on the cover of Popular Cinema from
1950 to 2012
The purpose of this study is to examine the female image, social role and social weight (relative size and positioning) of women as portrayed on movie magazine covers during four different time periods of the Chinese People’s Republic. Social action theory is the theoretical analysis framework for this study (Anderson & Meyer, 1988). Although Chinese women’s social status has increased since 1949, some researchers suggest that the female image has changed in a “negative” direction in movies during the past 100 years (Wu & Guan, 2007). Four hypotheses were derived from previous research: H1: There are significant female image differences among depictions of women across different periods, H2a: There are significant social role differences between genders among depictions of women and men across different periods, H2b: There are significant female social role differences among depictions of women across different periods, and H3: There are significant differences in the visual portrayal of social weight between genders in different periods.