Gender and power in television fiction: an ideological textual analysis of a historical TV Series

Género y poder en la ficción televisiva: análisis textual ideológico de una serie histórica

doxa.comunicación | 28, pp. 97-109 | 97

January-June of 2019

ISSN: 1696-019X / e-ISSN: 2386-3978

How to cite this article:

Donstrup, M. (2019). Gender and power in television fiction: an ideological textual analysis of a historical TV Series. Doxa Comunicación, 28, pp. 97-109.

Mayte Donstrup. Research Scholar of the VI Plan Propio –Universidad de Sevilla (VI Plan of Investigation and Transfer– University of Seville) in the Department of Audiovisual Communication and Advertising at the University of Sevilla. She is currently in the process of writing her doctoral thesis, which focuses on the study of ideological reception of fiction series with political content. Her lines of research are directed toward the ideological analysis of media discourses and propaganda. Likewise, she has also participated in several international congresses within these areas, and has been published in national and international journals.

Universidad de Sevilla, España

[email protected]



Productions carried out during the third golden age of television enjoy widespread popularity today. Within some of the TV series in this category, women who hold positions of power can occasionally be found as in the TV show analyzed in this article, which is Vikings. In this series, one of the main protagonists, Lagertha, amasses great admiration from the female audience. In order to know if this success corresponds to the reality of the character (her personality and the actions she takes), this study will carry out an analysis to determine the archetype of the protagonist and to develop a semiotic study of the character and her power relations with other subjects.


Power; TV series; gender; television; fiction.


Las producciones enmarcadas dentro de la tercera edad dorada te-levisiva gozan de una amplia fama en la actualidad. Dentro de las series situadas en esta categoría se pueden hallar, ocasionalmente, mujeres que ejercen puestos de poder, tal como se da en la serie a exa-minar en este artículo: Vikings, donde una de las principales protago-nistas, Lagertha, acapara gran admiración por parte de la audiencia femenina. Este caso se examinará con el objetivo de saber si ese éxito se corresponde con la realidad del personaje (su personalidad y las acciones que ejecuta), realizando para ello un análisis que determi-nará el arquetipo de la protagonista y desarrollando un análisis se-miótico del personaje y sus relaciones de poder con los demás sujetos.

Palabras clave:

Poder; series; género; televisión; ficción

Received: 17/01/2019 - Accepted: 29/04/2019

Recibido: 17/01/2019 - Aceptado: 29/04/2019

1. Introduction

Television series have become a prioritized object of analysis within communication research, partly as a consequence of the so-called “TV bubble” and the wide range of quality series available today. Viewed from another perspective, this academic development cannot be understood without considering previous background research, such as the work entitled Apocalípticos e integrados (Apocalyptic and integrated), in which Eco makes a defence for the analysis of television