This study examines class and gender representations in Nollywood films through textual analysis of a sample of films retrieved from the website of the largest Nollywood streaming service, irokoTV. The study investigates patterns in class and gender representations in terms of similarities in portrayals, instances of stereotypes, and value assumptions in terms of who has power by answering the following questions: (1) What class stereotypes are portrayed in Nollywood films? (2) What gender stereotypes are portrayed in Nollywood films? (3) What hegemonic ideas of power are portrayed in Nollywood films as a result of class and gender representations? The study uses an exposure approach to select a sample of convenience of the top 5 films most attended to by the audience on iROKOtv and relies on close reading and a distancing technique called the "commutation test" to discuss the meaning of class and gender representations in the films. Findings indicate that even when they appear to subvert dominant ideologies, the films still reinforce long established societal norms about the importance of wealth and female gender stereotypes such as submissiveness in domestic households. The tales are often aspirational but the films lack grand ideological narratives to make them relevant to social transformation. These findings support Stuart Hall's Theory of Ideology which allows for a subversive agenda in media texts while retaining the flexibility needed to critique connections between dominant ideologies and social practices and structures.
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