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'Dangerous Beauty' : a feminist analysis of the U.S. and the U.K. media’s portrayal of female soldiers through the case of Private First Class Lynndie England

Bergqvist, Frida LU (2018) MRSK62 20181
Human Rights Studies
Abstract
The aim of this thesis is to understand how, and why, the media is sustaining traditional gender norms in their portrayal of female soldiers. The primary material of the study consists of articles published by newspapers in the United States and the United Kingdom, describing PFC. Lynndie England and her actions in the Abu Ghraib scandal. To meet the purpose, the thesis addresses the following research questions: In what ways are Lynndie England and her actions portrayed by the U.S. and the U.K. media, and how can this be understood from a feminist perspective? What kind of gendered images are constructed of female soldiers through this portrayal, and are there any differences or similarities between the media narrative in the selected... (More)
The aim of this thesis is to understand how, and why, the media is sustaining traditional gender norms in their portrayal of female soldiers. The primary material of the study consists of articles published by newspapers in the United States and the United Kingdom, describing PFC. Lynndie England and her actions in the Abu Ghraib scandal. To meet the purpose, the thesis addresses the following research questions: In what ways are Lynndie England and her actions portrayed by the U.S. and the U.K. media, and how can this be understood from a feminist perspective? What kind of gendered images are constructed of female soldiers through this portrayal, and are there any differences or similarities between the media narrative in the selected newspapers? To answer these questions a qualitative content analysis is applied together with a theoretical framework consisting of Laura Sjoberg’s feminist theory of war, and Cynthia Enloe’s concept of militarised femininity. By analysing the source material, I have been able to confirm earlier scholars’ results about how female soldiers are victimised, trivialised and demonised by the media. This result demonstrates that traditional gender norms and perceptions of women’s roles in the military specifically, and in the society in general, remain intact. Additionally, my study has revealed that social class intersect with gender in the media’s portrayal of female soldiers. This study has also concluded that the selected newspapers’ media narrative is similar, but that the British has been worse when it comes to sustaining traditional gender norms. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Syftet med denna uppsats är att förstå hur, och varför, media upprätthåller traditionella könsnormer i deras porträttering av kvinnliga soldater. Studiens primärmaterial består av artiklar publicerade av tidningar i USA och Storbritannien, som beskriver menig Lynndie England och hennes handlingar i Abu Ghraib-skandalen. För att uppnå syftet med denna studie ställs följande frågeställningar: På vilka sätt porträtteras Lynndie England och hennes handlingar av amerikansk och brittisk media, och hur kan detta förstås ur ett feministiskt perspektiv? Vilken typ av könsspecifika bilder av kvinnliga soldater konstrueras genom denna porträttering, och finns det några skillnader eller likheter mellan media narrativet i de utvalda tidningarna? För... (More)
Syftet med denna uppsats är att förstå hur, och varför, media upprätthåller traditionella könsnormer i deras porträttering av kvinnliga soldater. Studiens primärmaterial består av artiklar publicerade av tidningar i USA och Storbritannien, som beskriver menig Lynndie England och hennes handlingar i Abu Ghraib-skandalen. För att uppnå syftet med denna studie ställs följande frågeställningar: På vilka sätt porträtteras Lynndie England och hennes handlingar av amerikansk och brittisk media, och hur kan detta förstås ur ett feministiskt perspektiv? Vilken typ av könsspecifika bilder av kvinnliga soldater konstrueras genom denna porträttering, och finns det några skillnader eller likheter mellan media narrativet i de utvalda tidningarna? För att besvara dessa frågor tillämpas en kvalitativ innehållsanalys tillsammans med ett teoretisk ramverk som består av Laura Sjobergs feministiska teori om krig, och Cynthie Enloes koncept militariserad femininitet. Genom att analysera materialet har jag kunnat bekräfta tidigare forskares studieresultat om hur kvinnliga soldater trivialiseras, demoniseras och framställs som offer av media. Detta resultat visar att traditionella könsnormer och uppfattningar om kvinnors roller i militären specifikt, och i samhället i allmänhet, förblir intakta. Utöver detta har har min studie även visat att klass sammanstrålar med genus i medias porträttering av kvinnliga soldater. Denna studie har även nått slutsatsen att de utvalda tidningarnas narrativ liknar varandra, men att den brittiska har varit värre när det gäller att upprätthålla traditionella könsnormer. (Less)
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author
Bergqvist, Frida LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Dangerous Beauty : en feministisk analys av amerikansk och brittisk medias porträttering av kvinnliga soldater genom en fallstudie av menig Lynndie England
course
MRSK62 20181
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
Military, female soldiers, Lynndie England, U.S. media, U.K. media, militarised femininity, deductive content analysis, victimisation, demonisation, trivialisation
language
English
id
8942755
date added to LUP
2018-08-20 11:19:10
date last changed
2018-08-20 11:19:10
@misc{8942755,
  abstract     = {The aim of this thesis is to understand how, and why, the media is sustaining traditional gender norms in their portrayal of female soldiers. The primary material of the study consists of articles published by newspapers in the United States and the United Kingdom, describing PFC. Lynndie England and her actions in the Abu Ghraib scandal. To meet the purpose, the thesis addresses the following research questions: In what ways are Lynndie England and her actions portrayed by the U.S. and the U.K. media, and how can this be understood from a feminist perspective? What kind of gendered images are constructed of female soldiers through this portrayal, and are there any differences or similarities between the media narrative in the selected newspapers? To answer these questions a qualitative content analysis is applied together with a theoretical framework consisting of Laura Sjoberg’s feminist theory of war, and Cynthia Enloe’s concept of militarised femininity. By analysing the source material, I have been able to confirm earlier scholars’ results about how female soldiers are victimised, trivialised and demonised by the media. This result demonstrates that traditional gender norms and perceptions of women’s roles in the military specifically, and in the society in general, remain intact. Additionally, my study has revealed that social class intersect with gender in the media’s portrayal of female soldiers. This study has also concluded that the selected newspapers’ media narrative is similar, but that the British has been worse when it comes to sustaining traditional gender norms.},
  author       = {Bergqvist, Frida},
  keyword      = {Military,female soldiers,Lynndie England,U.S. media,U.K. media,militarised femininity,deductive content analysis,victimisation,demonisation,trivialisation},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {'Dangerous Beauty' : a feminist analysis of the U.S. and the U.K. media’s portrayal of female soldiers through the case of Private First Class Lynndie England},
  year         = {2018},
}