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International Journal of Social Inquiry

Yıl 2009 , Cilt 2 , Sayı 2

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Depictions of female offenders in front-page newspaper stories: the importance of race/ethnicity

Yazar kurumları :
University of Nebraska at Omaha1
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This paper examined how a female offender’s race/ethnicity influenced how she was portrayed by the media. Existing literature on gender stereotypes, racial and ethnic stereotypes, and media depictions of offenders provided the basis for this study. Few have focused solely on the media’s treatment of offenders, in general, and fewer have looked closely at how the media depict female offenders, in particular. This study, therefore, filled a void. We predicted that minority women would be portrayed less favorably than white women, and conducted a content analysis of front-page newspaper articles that featured female offenders to test our expectation. The articles were gathered from two different U.S. newspapers for the 2006 calendar year—the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times. We found that stories about white female offenders were more likely to contain excuses for their alleged or actual offenses and were, therefore, more likely to take on an overall favorable tone than stories about minority female offenders.

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