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Bimbo or boffin? Women in science: An analysis of media representations and how female scientists negotiate cultural contradictions

Chimba, Mwenya and Kitzinger, Jenny 2010. Bimbo or boffin? Women in science: An analysis of media representations and how female scientists negotiate cultural contradictions. Public Understanding of Science 19 (5) , pp. 609-624. 10.1177/0963662508098580

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Abstract

This paper examines the gendered representations of scientists in the UK media. Our analysis reveals the asymmetrical ways in which men and women working in science, engineering and technology are portrayed, in particular through the emphasis on women’s appearance and a focus on their exceptional status. It also highlights the way female scientists may be used to “sex up” the discipline in the context of increasing concern about the (un)popularity of science. This media analysis is contextualized by drawing on data from 86 scientists examining how women themselves experience press and television coverage and address the cultural contradictions surrounding their role. The research highlights the challenges facing women working in these fields and the dilemmas for those seeking to develop a “human” face for science and promote a positive image for women.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Uncontrolled Keywords: gender, identity, media, public engagement, role models
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0963-6625
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:09
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/17528

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