Post-feminism at work?: the experiences of female journalists in the UK

Williams, Anna Louise (2010) Post-feminism at work?: the experiences of female journalists in the UK. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Within the UK recent research has suggested that a belief in gender equality is becoming increasingly prevalent. Women are frequently framed as empowered individuals who are now enjoying a freedom to choose in every aspect of their lives, placing them on equal terms with men. From this perspective, feminism is consequently viewed as outdated and redundant. Such ideas have been labelled as ‘post-feminist’ by feminists and cultural theorists. However, as many feminists have argued, whilst considerable advances have been made, women in the UK are in fact far from experiencing ‘true’ gender equality.

This study focuses on UK journalism, examining the impact of post-feminism on the experiences and beliefs of women working in an industry that has been identified as contributing to upholding post-feminist ideas through its cultural products. In 2002, the most recent large-scale survey of UK journalists revealed that this traditionally male-dominated industry was now one of the few occupations with almost equal numbers of men and women. However, despite this numerical equality, more women in journalism are clustered in lower status roles and in less prestigious areas than their male counterparts. It is possible that female journalists may thus be experiencing sustained workplace inequalities of a type not acknowledged by post-feminism.

This research aims to provide an insight into the experiences of women working in the UK journalism industry through 49 semi-structured interviews with female journalists from newspapers and women’s magazines. There has been little previous research in this area; earlier work suggests however that female journalists’ experiences may be uniquely shaped by the existence of an individualistic occupational culture. This study consequently looks from a feminist perspective at the beliefs that female journalists hold about gender (in)equality, to reveal the way/s they interpret their working lives, investigating a possible affinity between journalistic work culture/s and post-feminist ideas.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Stevenson, N.
Warren, T.
Aldridge, Meryl
Morley, B.
Subjects: H Social sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Sociology and Social Policy
Item ID: 11440
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2010 14:19
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2017 14:05

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