My infotainment thesis

On: September 9, 2010
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About Floor Broer van Dijk
I am a student of the New Media Master. Before this, I did the Television Bachelor at Media & Culture, University of Amsterdam. I also completed the first year of Sport, Management and Organisation. Now I am working as editor at Blue Circle, a production company which makes Television shows.


I chose the New Media master for several reasons.

1. I want to expand my view and expertise from Television to New Media.

2. New Media is the future.

3. I’m interested in the way television is more and more interactive.

I want to combine the knowledge I’ve  gained during my bachelor (television) and my master (new media) in my work later.

That’s why I want to do my Master thesis about Television and the influence of New Media in it. I have a little time left to think about that, for now, I will tell you about my bachelor thesis which I finished at the beginning of 2010. I know it isn’t about New Media but I have a whole year left to blog about that!

So, my bachelor thesis, the name translated in English: ‘Infotainment & the female, a representation of femininity in a new genre in Indonesia.’

Since I am half Indonesian, I went to Indonesia for four times. While I was there last year, I was wondering myself about the poor television shows over there. The bad acting in the soap operas gave me the idea of writing my thesis about Indonesian television. When I was back in Holland and I found out infotainment is extremely popular in Indonesia, I decided to write my thesis about infotainment in Indonesia. Because of the role pattern in Indonesia, the man is working for the money and the woman is taking care of the children, I wanted to find out how the female person is represented in infotainment shows in Indonesia. The shows are so extremely popular that I thought that how a female is represented there, must say enough of how this role pattern is working now a days in Indonesia.

So now I’m presenting you the outcome of my bachelor thesis:

During the New Order Period, while Suharto had power, the media was under strictly control of the government. In this way only thoughts that were allowed by Suharto were spread under the people. A lot of media products were subsidized in that Suharto was able to present his thoughts in the media. In that time, women were represented as that it was obvious how you should behave yourself as a good woman. You had to be a good woman, meaning a good mother, a good wife and a good housekeeper. A good woman was a good family and a good family meant a good representation for Indonesia.

Now a days woman in infotainment shows are represented as modern woman. Just like in soap operas the woman is represented as an independent, working women. From the New Order stereotype there was a move to the modern woman. But this move comes with contradictions. The ‘modern woman’ representation is coupled with discourses about traditional role patterns like being a good mother and a good wife. In infotainment shows the woman is often attached to a man and the family roots of the woman is often appointed.

This short summary of my thesis shows that the woman nowadays is represented as a modern woman, but behind that representation, it is clearly visible that the woman has to be the good wife, mother and housekeeper.

So now I told you about my bachelor thesis at the beginning of this year. Maybe at the end of the year I end my stream of blogs by presenting you a summary of my master thesis!

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