The strong men and the good looking women : Quantitative content analysis of the visual representation of athletes in Swedish digital sports journalism

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Karlstads universitet/Institutionen för geografi, medier och kommunikation (from 2013)

Sammanfattning: Purpose: The purpose of the thesis is to examine if the quantity of female athletes is lesser than male athletes and if there are any gender differences in this visual representation of athletes in Swedish digital sports journalism. The thesis also aims to investigate if the visual representation of female athletes has changed over time in connection to the #MeToo movement.   Research questions: RQ1: Are there any differences in the quantity of visual coverage given to female athletes and male athletes in Swedish sports media?  RQ2: Is there any difference in the visual portrayal of female athletes in comparison to male athletes? RQ3: Has the visual coverage of female athletes in Swedish sports media changed or remained the same since the #MeToo movement?   Theories: Agenda setting theory, Framing theory, Hegemonic masculinity and emphasized femininity, Gender performance, Gatekeeping and Media logic   Method: The study is based on visual quantitative content analysis. The empirical material of the analysis consists of 224 photographs from digital sports articles, originated from the two Swedish sports newspapers Sportbladet and SVT Sport. The articles were collected from the digital platform Retriever through a digital article search with the keyword “sport”. After collecting the data, it was processed in data program IBM SPSS Statistics, where cross tabulations were created. The results were analyzed and discussed in order to reaching a conclusion.   Conclusion: There is a higher quantity of male athletes than female athletes in Swedish sports media. There are small differences in the way female athletes and male athletes are visually portrayed. However, these differences show that female athletes are more often are shown in an emphasized feminine way, which contributes to proving the dominance of hegemonic masculinity. There are no major changes in the visual portrayal of female athletes before and after the #MeToo, however the result shows a somewhat equal coverage even before the #MeToo movement happened. The results of the study are partially supported by previous research and theory on the subject where female athletes are underrepresented and sexualized.

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