BS (Social Sciences & Liberal Arts)

Faculty / School

School of Economics and Social Sciences (SESS)


Department of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts

Date of Award

Spring 2022

Date of Submission



Syed Baqar Mehdi Rizvi, Lecturer, Department of Social Sciences

Project Type

SSLA Culminating Experience

Access Type

Restricted Access


The predominant discourse regarding the circumstances of Pakistani women is such that the women are much in need of saving from the patriarchal structure of Pakistan. A part of this narrative, is the fury on the representation of women in Pakistani media, highlighting how the women are either depicted as victimized or as sexual objects, and that they are relegated to the arena of domestic chores. Partly, due to this roar itself, the media has now tried to shift itself to the depiction of empowered women, yet, the change is not accorded much importance in previous studies. The study has used Foucauldian discourse analysis, to show both sides to the representation of women in Pakistani dramas. Using the comparison between two dramas from Hum TV, Humsafar, and Suno Chanda Season 2, the study has shown the changes in the depiction of the daughters-in-law, their everyday lives, and their relationships with their mothers-in-law, one of the most basic yet multi-dimensional relationships that women have with each other, within the joint-family system of Pakistan. The dramas were watched thrice and the dominant themes, relating to the topic, were short-listed, which were then analyzed using various scenes from the dramas. The scenes served as tools of discourse analysis, highlighting the evidence used to construct particular narratives. The study then attempts to show how women practice a unique form of agency while remaining within their homes, using, Saba Mahmood’s account, Politics of Piety. The detailed analysis has attempted to illustrate such an agency even for the female characters of the drama, Humsafar, which is usually discussed to highlight the suffering of women.



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