From Ms. Marvel to Ms. Shabash: Sex and Power Distribution in Bangladeshi and Western Cultures

  • Abstract:

    The medium of comics is a wonderful preserver of culture. Sequential art can effortlessly portray the latest trends and norms prevalent in any society. Comics from different parts of the world can help identify and analyze cultural differences across borders. Comic books talk about people, their dreams, their aspirations, their activities, and their ways of life. The depiction of norms, trends, traditions, celebrations, and conventions of different groups of people are well-contained in this art form. Western comics have been illustrating all these for years, securing their firm foothold in the world of sequential art. During the last few years, owing to various factors like the rise of comic-book based TV shows, superhero movies, and comic cons regularly happening in Bangladesh, the Bangladeshi comic book industry has experienced a boom. Simultaneously, western comics aided in running a comparative study between the respective societies in terms of intergroup oppression, discrimination, and prejudice. A panel-by-panel content analysis based on the established cultural elements was done on the sample, after which SDT on these samples was applied. The results showed westerners exhibiting relatively more liberal attitude, higher civic consciousness, and responsibility-taking mentality, while Bangladeshis were portrayed to be more accepting of social class structures, their adults exercising a disproportionate amount of social power over the younger generation, and the participating society members showing greater disparity in power based on sex.