Gender Stereotypes in News Framing of U.S. Governors: A Pilot Project

University of Auckland

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Gender Stereotypes in News Framing of U.S. Governors: A Pilot Project

  • Host University

    University of Auckland

  • Location

    Auckland, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    Gender Studies, International Relations

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    The primary objective of the proposed project is to gather and analyze news coverage of a purposive sample of four U.S. governors, two women and their male predecessors. This pilot study is designed to serve as the foundation for a much a larger longitudinal study of 54 US governors. The pilot project will involve collecting systematic quantitative analysis of all newspaper stories published by a major national and leading state newspaper in the first week after each governor was elected. Such coverage offers powerful introductions of new leaders, highlighting both personal and political dimensions of their characters and capabilities. The study is designed to measure the extent to which women who achieve executive leadership roles—in this instance, as state governors in the United States—have their personas and personal lives scrutinized to a greater degree than their male counterparts, and to gauge whether women and men are described as exhibiting different leadership qualities.

    Despite the rise of social media as a political communication platform, newspapers are important to study because of their agenda-setting role within the news industry and their long tradition of in-depth political reporting. Furthermore, the news circulated on social media is largely drawn from the mainstream news media, especially newspapers.

    Researcher’s work

    With guidance from the University of Auckland supervisor, Professor Jennifer Curtin, and her collaborator in Canada (Professor Linda Trimble), the researcher will undertake training on the following:

    • how to search for the newspaper stories of relevance from an electronic database
    • how to determine which stories meet the criteria for selection
    • how to format and save each news item for coding
    • how to code the stories using a codebook
    • how to enter the data into an Excel spreadsheet, for analysis using SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences).

    In addition to these tasks, the researcher will be introduced to a range of research writings on the topic of women and executive leaders cross-nationally and will write up short summaries of key texts of relevance to the project.  The researcher may wish to write a biographical blog post on the two women governors under examination and co-author with Professors Curtin and Trimble an background paper on media representations of women governors in the United States.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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