Using Television Drama as Entertainment-Education to Tackle Domestic Violence in China

  • Zhiying Yue University at Buffalo, State University of New York
  • Hua Wang University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
  • Arvind Singhal The University of Texas at El Paso
Keywords: domestic violence, China, television, entertainment-education, protection motivation theory

Abstract

Don’t Respond to Strangers (DRTS) is the first and to date the only television drama in China that was intentionally produced to raise public consciousness about the insidious nature of domestic violence, to contribute to its elimination, and to protect and uphold the rights of women. Under the overarching framework of entertainment-education, we utilised protection motivation theory to carry out a systematic three-part mixed-methods evaluation of DRTS. Study 1 was a qualitative content analysis of how domestic violence was portrayed in all 23 episodes of DRTS, identifying themes and scenes that could influence viewers’ threat and coping appraisal of domestic violence.  In Study 2, a quantitative content analysis of 1,848 viewer posts spread over an eight-year period was carried out on DRTS’ online forum, ascertaining how they reflected the viewers’ threat and coping appraisal about domestic violence. Study 3 was an on-line survey with Chinese nationals (N=326) that tested how their threat and coping appraisal with respect to domestic violence influenced the relationships between program exposure and three behavioural intention outcomes—i.e., victim coping, bystander intervention, and policy support. Our triangulated results suggested that, overall, DRTS was highly effective in using fear appeals to get the public’s attention on domestic violence, spur public discussions on the topic, and foster a favorable policy climate—one that culminated in 2015 in the passage of anti-domestic violence legislation.

Author Biographies

Zhiying Yue, University at Buffalo, State University of New York

Zhiying Yue is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Communication, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, USA. Her research focuses on the intersection of mass media, digital technology, and individual well-being.

Hua Wang, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

Hua (Helen) Wang (Ph.D.) is an Associate Professor of Communication and Affiliated Faculty of Community Health and Health Behavior at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. Her research focuses on leveraging digital and interactive media for health promotion and social change.

Arvind Singhal, The University of Texas at El Paso

Arvind Singhal, Ph.D., is the Samuel S. and Edna H. Marston Endowed Professor of Communication at The University of Texas at El Paso and appointed Professor 2, Inland School of Business and Social Sciences, Inland University of Applied Sciences, Norway. His teaching and research interests include the diffusion of innovations, the positive deviance approach, the entertainment-education communication strategy, and liberating interactional structures.

Published
2019-07-02
How to Cite
Yue, Z., Wang, H., & Singhal, A. (2019). Using Television Drama as Entertainment-Education to Tackle Domestic Violence in China. The Journal of Development Communication, 30(1), 30-44. Retrieved from http://jdc.journals.unisel.edu.my/ojs/index.php/jdc/article/view/139