Status of Women 2005 Abstracts

Commission on the Status of Women

The Role of Genre in the Use of Female Newspaper Sources • Cory L. Armstrong, University of Florida • This study examined how the type, or genre, of news sources contributes to the overall mentions of males and females in newspapers. Using gender as a comparison variable, results indicated that if male “official” sources were mentioned, female official sources were also likely to be mentioned. Also, as more specific genres of mentions appear for each gender, the opposite gender is less likely to appear overall in the story. Implications and future directions for study are discussed.

Women Sportscasters And Barriers To Success • Theresa Billiot, Southern Illinois University, And Max V. Grubb, Kent State University • The path to a sports broadcasting career for women has not come easy. Barriers still exist that make it difficult for female sportscasters to perform their jobs. This study found that female sportscasters interviewed for this research still experience barriers such as having an expectation of a higher level of knowledge than their male colleagues, maintaining an attractive image, experiencing unfair treatment and proving their credibility, and lack of career advancement.

Repairing the Image of the Ideal Woman: Press Depictions of the Women of the Homestead Strike, 1892 • Elizabeth Burt, University of Hartford • When nineteenth-century women participated in labor protests, the press described them as Amazons and revolutionaries. Their behavior challenged the dominant ideal of the True Woman, which, despite women’s increased activity in the public sphere, persisted well into the twentieth century. This study finds the press used four narrative frames to portray women during the Homestead strike. Following sensational accounts of their violence, the news stories reverted to traditional portrayals of women as wives and mothers, victims, and secondary characters.

Claiming Feminist Space in Korean Cyberterritory • Yisook Choi, Linda Steiner and Sooah Kim, Rutgers University • This paper analyzes two Korean feminist webzines, one of which remains active. We use the two cases to investigate the conditions under which feminist online media can survive and can build a feminist community. We explore the limitations and potential of the Internet for expressing alternative and feminist voices in Korea. The research is based on interviews with people involved in production, and qualitative and quantitative analysis of the zines’ contents, with particular attention to spaces provided for audience interactions.

Women Journalists who Quit and Tell: The Elusive Search for Control • Cindy Elmore, East Carolina University • Studies have long demonstrated that journalists want autonomy at work and are more job satisfied when they have autonomy. Research has also linked autonomy to journalist turnover. In this grounded theory study of women former journalists, control and autonomy emerged as a common theme. Many perceived they lacked control and autonomy as journalists, and perceive having more control in their different roles today. Those who feel little control on the job today express discontent.

Female Leadership Traits at a Women-Led Newspaper: A Case Study of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune • Tracy Everbach, University of North Texas • This ethnographic study of the only large U.S. newspaper with an all-women management team from 1999-2003 examines the leadership traits of female managers. Employing feminist and organizational theories, the study found the leaders of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune followed similar paths to power in which they overcame their status as a subordinate class. The study also found that the women shared “feminine” approaches to the workplace: verbal and writing skills, connection, diversity, flexibility and cooperation.

Limiting the Warrior Woman on Prime-Time: Using Content Analysis to Examine the Ambiguous Messages of Empowerment and Containment • Jennifer M. Fogel, Syracuse University • Within the past decade, television has produced an abundance of action heroines that exhibit a duality of gender traits, confusing gender stereotypes. Moreover, their power often comes at the price of their femininity or is only considered a pretender to the culturally established male authority. A content analysis of televised female crime fighters examined the relationship between the origination (whether human or metahuman) of the character and variables such as personal problems, masquerade, relationships.

Women Correspondent Visibility on Network Television News – A Twenty Year Longitudinal Study • Joe Foote, University of Oklahoma and Cindy Price, University of Wyoming • This census of network correspondent visibility on the evening news (ABC, CBS, NBC), covering 474 correspondents and 133,622 correspondent reports over twenty years (1983/2002), showed a major progression for women and a major decline for male correspondents. Women’s visibility was defined in [three distinct stages: (1)] a period from 1983 to 1991 when an impenetrable glass ceiling kept women in a static position at the same time there was great dynamism in other sectors of the economy.

Why Does She Do It? Three U.S. News Sources Explain the Female Suicide Bomber • Barbara Friedman, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill • It is the job of journalism to help its audience make sense of the world. This qualitative study considers the dominant themes in news coverage of female suicide bombers in three major U.S. news sources from 2002 to 2004: New York Times, Newsweek and CNN. The study also asks what tropes about gender and war this coverage challenges and reinforces, with a focus on archetypes identified by such scholars as Neloufer de Mel, Malathi de Alwis and Jean Bethke Elshtain, for example.

Conflicting Images: Representations of Women Terrorists in U.S. Newspapers • Robert Handley, and Sara Struckman, University of Texas at Austin • This study examined American media representations of female and male terrorists. A content analysis of 280 American newspaper stories revealed that coverage supports several myths about women terrorists, including women terrorists as unfeminine, mentally inept, and others. Researchers conclude that journalists are attempting to explain women’s involvement in terrorist organizations and protect femininity through patriarchy.

Passing it on: The Reinforcement of Male Hegemony in Sports Journalism Textbooks • Marie Hardin, Penn State University, Julie E. Dodd, University of Florida and Kimberly Lauffer, Towson • Abstract not available.

The Beautiful Blonde, Blue-Eyed Virgin: an Analysis of Adjectives to describe Women in Pulp Romance Fiction • Faye L. Kilday and Carol S. Lomicky, University of Nebraska at Kearney • This paper summarizes a study that examined the depiction of women characters in current romance fiction. This content analysis of adjectives used to describe the women in the text of the novels found that women were significantly described in terms of their physical appearance while intellectual attributes were significantly underrepresented. Of the 302 adjectives examined, 50% described women in terms of their physical appearance.

The Exclusion of Female Sources in the News Media • Renee Martin Kratzer and Esther Thorson, University of Missouri-Columbia • This study looks at the representation of female sources in news stories across different mediums. A total of 13,551 news stones from the Internet, newspapers, network and cable news programs were analyzed. The results show that women are vastly underrepresented as news sources in all mediums, with cable news programs using female sources the least. Women’s viewpoints are infrequent in stories ranging from sports topics to the Iraq War.

A Woman’s Place In 2004 Election Coverage: Stereotypes and Feminist Inroads • Therese L. Lueck, University of Akron • Covering the latter stages of the 2004 presidential election, two Ohio newspapers and The New York Times relied on much the same framing to represent women on their front pages. Despite females in bylines, female sources were rare in front-page news articles. Females in photos tended to be relatives of the candidates, faces in the crowd or children.

The Intersection of Race, Class, Power, and Identity: A Theoretical Survey of Implications for African-American Women • Lee Miller, Missouri School of Journalism • Borrowing from cultural feminist and critical race paradigms, this research investigates race, class and power as they relate to body identity and African-American women. The theoretical literature review surveys concepts of power and juxtaposes hegemonic concepts of body identity against African-American perceptions. Social constructions of the body and societal and cultural implications of a hierarchal body are primary concerns in this investigation.

How Women Make Meaning of Conflicting Information about Fish Consumption Messages • Jennifer Vardeman, University of Maryland • This exploratory study employed in-depth interviews with women to determine their meaning making of conflicting information posed in news about fish consumption safety. The health belief model provided a theoretical framework for the study. Findings from this study extend the health belief model by focusing on women audiences who are at greatest health risk but who are often ignored in theoretical development. Campaign designers can communicate more effectively about fish consumption safety to women.

Gender Discrimination: A Driving Force in Automotive Public Relations and Communications • Brenda J. Wrigley, Syracuse University and Ashley Bell, Michigan State University • The PR Week Salary Survey 2005 says male public relations practitioners make $32,462 more than their female counterparts. Although women comprise 70 percent of the field, they are a minority in management. This research investigates factors contributing to gender discrimination in public relations and communications. In-depth interviews conducted with female managers in the automotive industry revealed a range of factors related to male and female behavior, workplace environment, and society present barriers to women’s advancement.

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