Friday, January 2, 2015

Media coverage of Geraldine Ferraro's 1984 vice-presidential bid

This qualitative, interpretive study examines New York Times coverage of Geraldine Ferraro, the first female vice presidential candidate in the United States, during the 1984 presidential election. Using previously established frames, the analysis finds that The New York Times treated Ferraro as a viable vice presidential candidate, not solely as a female candidate. Some stories about Ferraro veered into Italian-American ethnic stereotypes when they focused on questions about her husband’s finances. Although the 1984 stories published by the Times overall showed promise that political women would move forward, the study also finds that Ferraro’s prediction that “American women never again will be second-class citizens” did not hold true, even 13 years into the 21st century. In fact, mainstream media coverage of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin 24 years later and of other political women such as Hillary Clinton reveals that hegemonic masculinity in politics is firmly entrenched.

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