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White Women Wanted? An Analysis of Gender Diversity in Social Justice Magazines

Department of Political Science and Sociology, Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ 07765-1898, USA
Department of Statistics, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Lisa Jean Moore
Societies 2016, 6(2), 12;
Received: 11 February 2016 / Revised: 8 April 2016 / Accepted: 8 April 2016 / Published: 14 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender and Social Change)
PDF [941 KB, uploaded 14 April 2016]


The role of media in collective action repertoires has been extensively studied, but media as an agent of socialization in social movement identity is less understood. It could be that social movement media is normalizing a particular activist identity to the exclusion of other demographics. For instance, Harper has identified white-centrism in anti-speciesist media produced by the Nonhuman Animal rights movement and supposes that this lack of diversity stunts movement potential. Using the lesser-studied Nonhuman Animal rights movement as a starting point, this study investigates two prominent Nonhuman Animal rights magazines. We compare those findings with an analysis of comparable leftist movements also known to exhibit diversity strains. A content analysis of Nonhuman Animal rights, women’s rights, and gay rights magazine covers spanning from 2000 to 2012 was undertaken to determine the manifestation of gender, race, body type, and sexualization. We find that the Nonhuman Animal rights media in our sample overwhelmingly portrays white women with a tendency toward thinness, but with low levels of sexualization as comparable to that of the other movements. All three movement samples unevenly depicted gender, overrepresented whites, and underrepresented non-thin body types. View Full-Text
Keywords: Animal rights; feminism; gay rights; gender; identity; media; race; social movements Animal rights; feminism; gay rights; gender; identity; media; race; social movements

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Wrenn, C.L.; Lutz, M. White Women Wanted? An Analysis of Gender Diversity in Social Justice Magazines. Societies 2016, 6, 12.

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