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How do Pakistani drama serials discursively represent domestic violence?

Faiqa Ahmad (Goldsmiths University of London, London, UK)

Qualitative Research Journal

ISSN: 1443-9883

Article publication date: 23 January 2023

Issue publication date: 17 February 2023




The objective of this study was to look closely at how domestic violence is represented in Pakistani drama serials to see if portrayals are reinforcing stereotypical and/or patriarchal values, or breaking the rigid norms.


With the help of dispositive analysis within the critical discourse approach, the prominent and non-dominant discourses about domestic violence were identified and discussed. Episodes from two popular drama serials, Kaisa Yeh Naseeban and Khaas, released in 2019, were watched with special focus on texts on domestic violence alongside objects and actions.


Analysis showed that both drama serials gave importance to socio-systemic and liberal humanist instrumentalism discourses, which describe domestic violence as a result of social structures and that abuse is used to assert control, respectively. However, some instances were noted where patriarchal values were encouraged.


As media has become a powerful tool of influence and awareness in the recent times, it is imperative that the content watched on it by millions of people be studied and analyzed. It is claimed that Pakistani drama serials with wide following and that are made on social issues around women aim to raise awareness and empower them. Domestic violence is a prevalent issue in Pakistan, and no research till date has examined representation of domestic violence on Pakistani popular media, which may influence response to domestic violence, which this paper aims to do.



Ahmad, F. (2023), "How do Pakistani drama serials discursively represent domestic violence?", Qualitative Research Journal, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 145-163.



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