The Representations of Transgender Persons in Vietnamese Online Media

Author: Thi Thanh Hoa Bui

Bui, Thi Thanh Hoa, 2018 The Representations of Transgender Persons in Vietnamese Online Media, Flinders University, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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The visibility of transgender persons in the Vietnamese media has been increasing recently, especially after the advocacy campaign for the rights of Vietnamese transgender persons which culminated in the amendment of the Civil Code in 2015. Nevertheless, there remains a scarcity of research on transgender persons. Notably, there has been no research focusing on images of transgender individuals in Vietnamese media. Transgender persons belong to the most vulnerable group of minorities and experience deep-rooted discrimination. How their non-conforming gender expression is represented will contribute to the broad social understanding of transgender persons. This thesis is interested in how transgender people are portrayed in Vietnamese online media. The thesis reviews images of transgender persons on five online e-news channels, including both state-controlled and private sites. By examining all coverages on two major themes, transgender celebrities and the transgender representation through the law reform for the Civil Code Amendment 2015, this thesis argues that, to some extent, although the transgender representations in Vietnamese social media seem to be progressive, their portrayals still bear subtle transphobia and reinforce gender binaries.

Keywords: Transgender persons, Transgender man, Transgender woman, Representation, Vietnam, Media, Celebrity, Law Reform

Subject: Women's Studies thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2018
School: College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Supervisor: Barbara Baird