Gender Representation in the Media

Explore how women are represented in the media and reflect on what it means for contemporary society and culture.

  • Duration 7 weeks
  • Weekly study 4 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $54 Find out more

Develop critical skills for analysing the media through a gendered lens

From Beyoncé performing in front of a lit up ‘Feminist’ sign to the #MeToo movement, feminist issues have never seemed so popular in the media. However, research still consistently highlights the under-representation of women in the media, especially amongst marginalised groups.

On this course, you’ll be introduced to key gender issues. You’ll explore female representation in areas from news to sports to feature films, and discover why equal representation still looks a long way off.

You’ll also consider what can be done to offer alternative depictions of women to the mainstream media.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 12 secondsWhy is the media so important to gender equality globally? This is one of the key questions we're aiming to explore on this seven-week course focused on gender and the media and offered by the University of Strathclyde. Over the course of these seven weeks, we'll look everything from politics reporting to sports reporting. We'll think about violence we'll think about sexualisation and also about feminist media. So with examples ranging from MeToo to the coverage of women's football, from Brexit reporting to Star Wars, what we aim to do is give you examples to help you think critically about the media where you are.

What topics will you cover?

Studying gender and the media can be complex. First you’ll develop a critical toolkit for thinking about and analysing the media, including:

  • Key concepts and definitions

  • Media monitoring in fact and fiction

Once you’ve developed your critical toolkit, we’ll then put it to work. You’ll explore the representation of women in five crucial areas:

  • Politics

  • Violence

  • Sports

  • Sexualisation and body image

  • Feminist media and digital media

These different topics will allow you to explore the relationship between the media and gender, especially in relation to other structural inequalities including race, age, sexuality and disability. Representations of women in the media can differ across different geographical contexts.

Throughout the course, we’ll ask you to contribute examples of the media where you are in relation to these topics.

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

  • Available now

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Develop an understanding of key concepts for studying gender in the media, with a particular emphasis on how we understand gender in relation to other structural inequalities including race, age, sexuality and disability.
  • Develop critical skills for analysing contemporary media texts through a gendered lens.
  • Explore how the approaches considered in this course play out in your own regional contexts.
  • Investigate how feminist and women’s organisations have worked to challenge and change mainstream media representations.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone who wants to be able to engage with media more critically, or anyone who wants to learn more about gender inequality, female media representation, media studies, feminist activism and feminist analysis.

Who will you learn with?

Karen Boyle

Karen Boyle

Karen is Professor of Feminist Media Studies and the author of #MeToo, Weinstein and Feminism (Palgrave, 2019). She is a founder of Gender Equal Media Scotland (https://www.genderequalmedia.scot/).

Rachael Alexander

Rachael Alexander

Dr Rachael Alexander is a Research Assistant in Journalism and Teaching Assistant in English Studies at the University of Strathclyde. She is the author of Imagined Women (Anthem Press, forthcoming)

Petya Eckler - Educator

Petya Eckler - Educator

A senior lecturer at U of Strathclyde. Dr. Eckler teaches journalism and health communication. Her research focuses on links b/n social media and body image, and other topics on media and health.

Who developed the course?

University of Strathclyde

The University of Strathclyde is a leading international technological university located in Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city, committed to useful learning.

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