The Construction of Female Identities in Women's Weekly: A Comparison between the Singapore and Australian Editions

Ng Gay Koon, Sophia

English Language Honours AE, NIE, 2002


The aim of this study is to examine the ideological construction of the female identity in a specific media text - women's magazines. The study focuses on uncovering the ideologies behind the construction and representation of the female identity in both the Singapore and Australian versions of Women's Weekly (WW), and explaining how the comparative study reveals the ideological and sociological differences between the two countries.

The site of my research is women's magazines, specifically WW produced in Singapore and Australia. The data for this study is taken from three sections of each edition of WW for the months of July (2001) and August (2001). The three selected sections - Cover Page, Editor's Letter and Horoscope Page, are regular sections of the magazines and are considered to be most representative of the text producer's voice.

The analysis of the discourse in the magazines data is undertaken using the framework of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). Through the application of this linguistic model of discourse analysis, this study seeks to reveal the various layers of meanings and intentions embedded within the text, particularly the different ideologies that legitimize the constructions of the female identity in WW. Given that these ideologies vary between the two editions of WW, this study also examines them within the socio-economic-political context of Singapore and Australia.