Bilder av män(niskor)
En studie om fotojournalistik ur ett genusperspektiv
This bachelor thesis examines photojournalistic images in contemporary Swedish press from a gender perspective. Gender inequality is reproduced through news content every day. Behind all photojournalistic images is the photographer, a person who makes decisions regarding the angle of the picture, its composition, environment and light. In addition, the photographer is often able to influence the body language, posture and facial expression of the person portrayed. Through these daily choices of the photojournalist, the media have the power to strengthen or challenge the gender hierarchy by selecting and publishing certain images (Jarlbro 2013:65). Previous studies on media content show that gender stereotypes of women and men are so common that they often go unnoticed (Fagerström & Nilson 2008:125-127). Taken that media shall function as an interactive venue where all individuals are seen on equal terms, stereotypical representations of men and women in the news should be considered a democratic problem (Jarlbro 2013:19, 92). By applying a qualitative content analysis, our aim is to investigate how photojournalistic images can strengthen or infract typical gender patterns, where men and women are represented differently due to inequal norms and values in society. This study includes six different photographs from the Swedish local morning paper Göteborgs-Posten. The photographs were analyzed by examining aspects such as body language, facial expressions, picture angle and context. The main findings of this study show that both women and men in the analyzed photographs are represented in stereotypical ways in terms of gender. In most cases, men are portrayed as active, powerful and independent in a way that enhance their masculinities, whereas women act passively in a way that confines and victimizes them. Two of the photographs partly challenge this gender order by portraying men in situations where they appear weak or exposed. Representations of women on the other hand do not conflict with the gender order. Still, none of the photographs challenge the hegemonic masculinity (Connell 1995:76-80). Through our results we also want to highlight how the consequences of stereotypical gender representations obstructs the development of gender equality in news content and in society. By applying Entman’s theories (1993:51-52) to our analysis it is possible to conclude that the framing of media content inevitably influence our ideas and expectations of men and women in society. In conclusion, stereotypical representations of men and women in turn contributes to the strengthening of gender stereotypes in media content as well as in society.