Elena Escalante Block on gender inequalities in media discourse

Elena Escalante Block will discuss a co-authored paper on the impact of #metoo on Australian media discourses at the EPSA conference in Belfast on 21 June 2019.

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Defeating Gender Inequalities? Exploring the Impact of #metoo in the News Media Discourse in Australia

Elena Escalante Block, PLATO PhD researcher
Centre for European and Comparative Politics, Sciences Po Paris

Twitter gave momentum to #metoo, as it provided a direct channel for women’s voices to be heard. This was amplified by increased media attention, raising public awareness with detailed accounts of sexual harassment and misconduct in the workplace. In Australia, the Human Rights Commission revised the legal framework of sexual harassment, but many still doubt the success of #metoo in the country (Cave 2018).

Against this background, we take the concept of politicisation (de Wilde 2011) as a point of departure and investigate how the #metoo debate impacted public discourses on gender equality issues in Australia. We assess a total of two years of media coverage in the country’s largest newspapers, situating the beginning of #metoo in the middle of our period of analysis (November 2016-November 2018). Methodologically, we rely on (1) a small-scale manual claims analysis performed on a systematic random sample of articles, complemented by (2) an automated content analysis of all articles regarding salience, polarisation and expansion of actors. Results are discussed with reference to real-life changes that have occurred in the Australian political landscape.

The paper is co-authored with Olga Eisele and Hajo Boomgaarden (Institute of Advanced Studies, Vienna).


Peter Froggatt Conference Centre, Queen’s University, Belfast
When: 21 June 2019, 13:20-15:10
Organiser: European Political Science Association (EPSA)
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Published June 18, 2019 3:12 PM - Last modified Sep. 11, 2020 4:53 PM