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Representation of Women and Identity in Bollywood Films

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posted on 01.05.2020, 00:00 by Priya V Shah
Gender inequality in India is a problematic issue. There are stereotypical norms that men and women follow and Bollywood cinema has enforced these norms throughout their films. This study aims to look at how representation of women is presented in Bollywood films and how their identity is shaped. In order to determine how women were represented in Bollywood films, three different films were selected throughout a 30-year time period from 1990 up until 2016. This study was conducted utilizing a thematic analysis. The data was coded by watching each film thoroughly several times and each female character’s desires, wants, and socioeconomic factors were closely looked at. The codes were then analyzed and then categorized into select themes. After the categorization of themes, the major themes were renamed and defined as prominent themes that were present throughout each film. The four major themes that were found throughout this study were 1. Independence 2. Desire 3. Traditional Indian Values and 4. Identity. These four themes illustrated how a woman’s identity is shaped throughout the particular time period the film was created.



Bui, Diem-My


Bui, Diem-My



Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level


Degree name

MA, Master of Arts

Committee Member

Rojecki, Andrew Mukherjee, Ishani

Submitted date

May 2020

Thesis type




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