Conference Agenda

RN18_06: Media, Patriarchy and Gender. Perspectives on (in)visible violence
Thursday, 22/Aug/2019:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Marisol Sandoval, City, University of London
Location: UP.4.209
University of Manchester Building: University Place, Fourth Floor Oxford Road


Is This Just Ordinary Crime News? Reflecting On Media Representations Of Femicide In Four Italian Newspapers

Chiara Gius, Pina Lalli

University of Bologna, Italy

Gender inequality represents on of the most urgent challenges that need to address to reach a more fair and equal society. In particular, violence against women remains the most distinct manifestation of the structural imbalances of power between women and men: as such its eradication has been recognized by the EU and its member states to be a political and social priority. Our contribute will address violence against women from a socio-cultural prospective (Moscovici, 2005; Lalli 2005; Tuchman 1978b) looking, in particular, at how the representation of femicide, the most severe form of violence against women, plays a crucial role in the circulation of specific cultural discourses on femininity and masculinity (Bollock and Cubert 2002; Gillespie et al. 2013; Kuperberg and Stone 2008; Meloy and Miller 2009; Mendes 2011; Meyers 1997).

Building on the results of two different qualitative researches conducted in two separates years (2012 and 2016) on the news coverage of femicides perpetuated inside a relationship of intimacy (i.e. amongst partner or ex-partners) in 4 Italian national newspapers we will show how Italian media heavily rely on traditional ideas of romantic love and passion in order to make sense of this specific crime. The implications of the use of these frameworks on issues of masculinity, femininity and power, as well as the difficulty to elaborate alternative discourses on this particular kind of violence, especially when it is perpetuated inside of a relationship of intimacy (i.e. amongst partners or ex partners), will also be discussed.

Media, Patriarchy and the (in)visible Violence

Anu Harju1, Noora Kotilainen2, Saara Särmä3

1University of Helsinki, Finland; 2University of Helsinki, Finland; 3Finnish National Defence University, Finland

Death, injury and violence are unequally represented in the media, depending largely on the nature and circumstances of the violent act. As Butler (2004) notes, not all lives are perceived to be of equal value. Furthermore, not only all lives, but not all deaths, are visible. Thus, acts or threats of violence are not neutral or stable as regards value or meaning; rather, significations are assigned to violent events through complex processes of evaluation and assessment. Here, we argue, attributes attached to the perpetrator as well as the victim – race, ethnicity, gender and one’s general position in the global hierarchy – come to define (in)visibility, and therefore, the differential value assigned to violent acts and their consequences. What follows is normalisation of certain types of violence. In order to understand the co-constitutive relationship of patriarchy and violence and how the varied responses to different types of violence sustains patriarchy (Enloe 2017), we analyse media representations of diverse types of violence: terrorist violence, gendered violence, and sexual violence. We ask, first, what types of violence are normalised in and by patriarchy and thus not worthy of attention, and, second, what types of violence are turned into spectacles. Empirically, we approach these questions through a selection of cases: we examine both the invisibility of gendered violence and the hypervisibility of racialised sexual violence in the context of the Nordic welfare state, as well as the broader context of terrorist violence in Beirut, Paris, and Turku.

The new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and the value systems about violence against women in Europe and North Africa

Pilar Rodriguez Martínez

Universidad de Almería, Spain

Information and Communication Technologies (hereinafter, ICTs) seem to have a great influence on value systems. The main objective of our paper is to learn how the new ICTs influence on violence against women values in Europe and North Africa, and between different social groups within each country. In methodological terms, the relationships between ICTs (both traditional, press, radio and television, and new ones, ie mobile phone, internet and social media) and the violence against women attitudes will be analyzed by comparing different societies. The social center will be compared with the social periphery according to Galtung's Center-Periphery Theory. In order to undertake the proposed objectives, four main hypotheses have been formulated: H1. The social center uses new ICTs more than the social periphery (internet and social media) while the social periphery makes greater use of traditional media (television, radio, printed media); H2. Values related to violence against women of the connected citizens (who use the new ICT) differ significantly from the values of citizens who consume traditional ICTs; and H3. Values (on security and equality) of the connected citizens of the elites and the peripheries from the central countries will differ significantly, so that the elites of the central countries will be show less support than the elites of the countries in the periphery; H4 The values (about violence against women) of the unconnected citizens of the peripheries will differ significantly. The citizens of the social periphery in central countries will show less support for violence against women than the citizens of the social periphery in countries of the periphery. The main database that will be used is the World Values Survey, 2010-14 and 2017-18 waves.

Political Economy of Newspapers Coverage of Maternal and Child Healthcare Issues in Nigeria

Raheemat Adeniran, Lai Oso

Lagos State University, Nigeria

Nigeria is a developing country with varied developmental challenges. It has one of the worst indices on maternal and child healthcare (MCH), globally. The media, as a vital element within the society, has the potential to contribute to improving maternal and child healthcare through appropriate framing and communication of MCH issues. Achieving media inclusion poses a challenge as media contents are often products of varied power relations. Extant studies have established that health is often not primed in Nigerian newspapers where politics and business hold sway. News media contents are also influenced by varied factors which exists both within and outside of news media organisations. Premised on sociology of news as critical perspective, this study examines power relations in newspaper representation of maternal and child healthcare in Nigeria. Combing content analysis of MCH-related items in newspapers, with in-depth interview of newspaper health editors, it explores factors and underlying reasons driving coverage of MCH. It finds that government, local and international aid agencies, and civil societies often influence coverage of MCH issues. These groups drives media representation of MCH through established journalistic routine, and reporter-source relations often favouring priming of official news sources and ‘powerful’ elements within the society, as a necessity for maximising limited news media resources. This paper identifies various forms in which these groups manipulates media representation of MCH and call for the media to be more proactive in driving agenda for improved MCH for the citizenry, and not accede to satisfying peculiar interests over public interest.