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Feminist and Gender Studies

Cynthia Carter and Kaitlynn Mendes


Feminist and gender studies represent key fields of research within communication studies today. It is difficult to discuss their emergence and developments as two separate entities, as the two often overlap. However, it can be noted that mainstream forms of gender studies research tend to differ from feminist studies politically, theoretically, and methodologically. As Dow and Condit (2005 , 449) argue, “The field of communication has come too far to categorize all research on women, or even gender, as feminist in its orientation. Rather, the moniker of ‘feminist’ is reserved for research that studies communication theories and practices from a perspective that ultimately is oriented toward the achievement of ‘gender justice,’ a goal that takes into account the ways that gender always already intersects with race, ethnicity, sexuality, and class.” As a political movement for gender justice, feminist communication scholarship always has at its core a goal of examining how gender relations are represented (→  Media and Perceptions of Reality ; Gender: Representation in the Media ), or the ways in which audiences make sense of them, or how media practitioners contribute to perpetuating gender injustice. At the center of this is the view that hierarchical gender relations (re)produce social inequalities across time and cultures, thereby making it difficult for men and women to be ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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