Decoding media images of political leaders: The perspective of young adults on the relation of gender and power

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


How are media representations of male and female political leaders appropriated by young adults? Do young people negotiate questions of occupational success during media use? The article gives answers to these questions by referring to a qualitative audience study that analyses the negotiation of femininity and power as well as the (de-)construction of gender. It is based on focus groups with 17-19-year-old male and female students with different educational backgrounds. The findings show that the young adults do not reproduce traditional concepts of femininity: Male and female political leaders are described as powerful persons. Nevertheless, gender is articulated and therefore reconstructed in appropriation. Not female politicians but managers are seen as examples of reaching leading positions. Altogether, media images of female leaders are decoded as proof of potential success of women and therefore are meaningful for society.
ZeitschriftInteractions - Studies in Communication & Culture
Seiten (von - bis)261-277
Anzahl der Seiten17
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 23.07.2012