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The representation of feminine agency in the political sections of four Spanish newspapers

Issue: Vol 4 No. 2 (2003) Estudios de Sociolingüística 4.2 2003

Journal: Sociolinguistic Studies

Subject Areas: Gender Studies Linguistics

DOI: 10.1558/sols.v4i2.563


In this article I present the findings of an analysis of a press sample which comprises the national and international political sections of four of the major daily Spanish newspapers (El País, El Mundo, ABC and La Vanguardia) during a week (1-7 April 2000). The study focuses on the linguistic treatment of women politicians’ agency, and covers four aspects: the representation of women’s political activity; the discursive agency (basically the point of view, and the subject and focus of the clause); the treatment of feminine sexual agency, when this appears in the public sphere; and the discursive handling of sexual harassment to public women. The analysis concludes that the discourse of the political media is still unwilling to textualize women politicians as capable agents, and tends to hide their achievements and represent them by means of stereotypes. Discursively, the point of view is usually that of one of the male protagonists of the news, whereas women are not the active subject, or the focus of the clause.

Author: Mercedes Bengoechea

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