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Women in the Assembly: representations of female Assembly Members in the Welsh press

Ye, Weihua 2014. Women in the Assembly: representations of female Assembly Members in the Welsh press. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This study highlights the significance of equal participation of men and women as central to the future health of politics and the democratic process in Wales. Following affirmative action taken by two major Welsh political parties, the National Assembly for Wales has been notable for the high level of female representation among its membership since the legislature was created in 1999. The large number of women in the Assembly is a unique phenomenon both politically and geographically. However, the question that remains unanswered is this: in spite of equal political representation in the Assembly, are men and women now treated equally and fairly by the Welsh press? This research is the first comparative study of press representations of men and women in a political institution that has an almost equal number of male and female representatives. It specifically attempts to examine how 12 Welsh newspapers portrayed female Assembly Members [AMs] during a three-month Welsh national election period as well as during a later three-month routine press coverage period. It draws on content and discourse analyses of the press coverage of over 3000 articles from about 1000 newspaper editions during the two periods studied. It is also based on data generated by in-depth interviews with 28 AMs from the current Assembly. This study shows that when there has been a relative equal participation of women in a political institution over a period, the gender issue initially remains noticeable and “business as usual”. However, over time, more complex media representations of male and female politicians have been observed and gender bias has gradually become less salient and controversial than before, both in colleagues’ perceptions of women politicians and in media representations, because gender parity has become a norm.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
N Fine Arts > NE Print media
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 23:54

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