Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

"She's just a normal girl": "ESPN the Magazine"'s Body Issue and the framing of women athletes
by Pruitt, Laken N., M.S., Oklahoma State University, 2015, 102; 10140175
Abstract (Summary)

Although the number of women participating in organized sport has drastically increased since the passage of Title IX, sport media has not necessarily reflected this change. As well as being underrepresented in sport media, women athletes are also portrayed in gender biased ways. When examining photographic media, many studies investigate Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue; however, the present study argues that using this magazine is methodologically flawed. Therefore, I explore an emergent source—ESPN the Magazine ’s Body Issue—in order to determine how women are represented in this magazine. Using Goffman’s (1974) framing theory and (1979) Gender Advertisements, as well as Schipper’s (2007) extension of hegemonic femininity, I utilized content analytic methods to analyze all editions of the annual Body Issue from 2009–2014. In total, I studied 143 athletes represented in 146 images, as well as the captions which accompanied these images. Results uncovered that, although women are more highly represented than men in the Body Issue, they are still presented using hegemonically feminine frames. While the Body Issue does occasionally present women in ways which challenge the hegemonic gender structure, these instances are few. Contributions of this study to the body of literature regarding sport media strengthen the suggestion that sport media plays a role in both producing and reproducing the hegemonic gender structure.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: McLaughlin, Heather
Commitee: Gill, Duane A., Kian, Edward M., Mix, Tamara
School: Oklahoma State University
Department: Sociology
School Location: United States -- Oklahoma
Source: MAI 55/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Social research, Womens studies, Mass communications
Keywords: Body Issue, ESPN the Magazine, Women athletes
Publication Number: 10140175
ISBN: 9781339955940
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