Gender and the Media

Identity, Media Hype and the Intellectuals' Construction of Public Opinion:Gong Yinxia's Suicide in 1934

Hou Yanxing
Department of Social Sciences, East China Normal University
Collection of Women's Studies 2016-4

Abstract:In 1934, a tragedy of family committing suicide occurred when Gong Yinxia and her daughter and two sons died from taking poison. About this event, there were different explanations. Gong Yinxia left a suicide note, which represented her explanation of her action as a highest expression of love between her and her husband. The media emphasized the news worthiness of the event and concentrated on an intensive publicity of her family background, the process that led to her suicide, the fallout of her death, and the nature of her suicide. While the media tried to construct "facts" about the event so as to appeal to readers' curiosity and sympathy. Gong Yinxia's suicide became a symbol and an opportunity to discuss women's liberation, social transformation, National identity and other broad issues at the time.
Keywords:Gong Yinxia, suicide, different explanations of what it means, intellectual, public opinion, media

Paper type:Published