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Robert Crosnoe, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Cheryl Cooky - "Framing Silence: The Mainstream News Media Coverage of Sports"

Thu, February 20, 2014 • 3:30 PM • CMA 3.116

This lecture will examine the mainstream news media’s print and televised coverage of men’s and women’s sports. A consistent trend in the research is the absence and silencing of women’s sports. The lecture will explore this trend by drawing upon several major studies conducted by the presenter. The lecture concludes with a brief discussion of the cultural significance of the media framings and media coverage of sport.

Dr. Cooky’s scholarship is interdisciplinary, situated at the intersections of sociology, kinesiology (sociology of sport), and women’s/gender studies. Specifically, her research centers on the ways gender shapes experiences, cultural meanings and societal structures in sports contexts. Research demonstrates that girls are participating in sport in greater numbers than ever. Yet, there are still many girls who do not participate because of limited opportunities, structural barriers, and cultural ideologies. Cooky’s research explores these dynamics. Specifically, her research has examined the sociological aspects of urban recreation sport programs for low-income minority girls; the role of the media and popular culture and in shaping societal understandings of gender and sport; the framing of female athletes (most recently Caster Semenya) in mainstream news media; the quality and quantity of men’s and women’s sport in mainstream news media; and the construction of gendered athletic identities among girls who play sport. In 2010-11, she collaborated with the Women’s Sport Foundation to conduct the first ever evidence-based study of gender and sport participation in Montenegro (funded by United Nations Development Fund and the Montenegro Olympic Committee). In 2010, Cooky completed (with Michael Messner, Ph.D. University of Southern California) an update of a longitudinal study on gender in televised sports mews. The report examines the coverage of men’s and women’s sport in local and national televised news and highlight shows. The report was distributed online (3500+ downloads in 68 different countries).

Talk co-sponsored by Texas Program in Sports and Media, Moody College of Communication

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