Text trajectories and media discourse

tracking gendered representations in presidential politics

Authors

  • Tanya Romaniuk Portland State University, Department of Communication

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/genl.v8i2.245

Keywords:

Gender, Intertextuality, Media Discourse, Politics, Text Trajectory, Women

Abstract

During the Democratic nomination for President of the United States (2007-2008), Hillary Rodham Clinton’s laughter became the subject of intense scrutiny by mass media and was dubbed, The Clinton Cackle. This paper investigates how the ‘cackle’ characterization was first established, and thus, formed the basis of an intertextual series (Hodges, 2011), wherein this re-presentation of Clinton’s laughter circulated across multiple discursive contexts. By examining various dimensions of the decontextualization and recontextualization of Clinton’s laughter as it ‘travelled’ across contexts (Blommaert, 2005), the analysis illustrates how the news media effectively reshaped the kinds of meanings and values attached to it and concomitantly (re)produced and reinforced a stereotypically gendered, negative (i.e., sexist, misogynist) perception of her. The paper concludes with a discussion of the significance of tracing the trajectory of this ‘text’ in terms of the ideological nature of the intertextual processes at work, and the implications for women politicians more generally.

Author Biography

Tanya Romaniuk, Portland State University, Department of Communication

Tanya Romaniuk is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at Portland State University. Her dissertation investigated politicians’ laughter in broadcast news interviews and the gendered nature of media representations of one politician’s laughter—that of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Her current research interests lie at the intersection of discourse analytic approaches to communication, mass media, and gender. She has recently published on questioning practices (with Steve Clayman, 2011; ROLSI, 2013) and laughter (Romaniuk, 2013) in broadcast news interviews and on approaches to discourse analysis (with Susan Ehrlich, 2013).

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Published

2014-06-25

How to Cite

Romaniuk, T. (2014). Text trajectories and media discourse: tracking gendered representations in presidential politics. Gender and Language, 8(2), 245–268. https://doi.org/10.1558/genl.v8i2.245

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Section

Special Issue Articles