Journal Articles

Access to full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter. Journal articles can act as an ideal resource to help support your assignments and studies.

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Article 1: Jackson, Sue and Tamsyn Gilbertson. 2009. “Hot Lesbians’: Young People’s Talk about Respresentations of Lesbianism.” Sexualities. 12(2): 199-224.

Abstract:  Media representation of heterosexual alternatives is particularly salient for young people negotiating sexuality, more so for those with limited access to other cultural resources to inform their homosexual understandings. With the centrality of media as resource in mind, we present in this article ?ndings from our focus group research with 25 high school students aged 16–18 in which we invited them to discuss representations of homosexuality in the media. Our analyses, which focus here on lesbian sexuality, used a thematic discursive approach. We found constructions of lesbianism as ‘hetero?exible’, ‘hot’ and experimental to be common patterns in participants’ talk, whereas notions of lesbian desire were largely silenced. While most of the talk drew on heteronormativity, we found small pockets of its deconstruction in mobilization of alternative discourses and rejection of sexual categories.

  1. Why and how do representations of lesbians in entertainment media differ from representations of gay men? What does this have to do with ideas about both gender and sexuality?
  2. How are lesbians often presented in the media? How is this often part of a heterosexual mindset?
  3. How do the author’s find that young people talk about lesbians in the media? What are some of the major themes?


Article 2: Daniels, Elizabeth A. 2009. “Sex Objects, Athletes, and Sexy Athletes: How Media Representations of Women Athletes Can Impact Adolescent Girls and College Women.” Journal of Adolescent Research. 24(4): 399-422.

Abstract: In contrast to the large body of research examining the negative effects of idealized media images on girls’ and women’s body image, little research has investigated whether media images can positively impact body concept among females. Using a between-participants experimental design, this study examined how images of performance athletes, sexualized athletes, sexualized models, and nonsexualized models impacted adolescent girls’ and college women’s tendency to self-objectify. Participants were 350 adolescent girls and 225 college women who completed a measure of body objectification after viewing photographs. As expected, performance athlete images prompted less self-objectification, suggesting the need for more of this imagery in mainstream media.

  1. How does Daniels’ research intersect with Croteau and Hoynes’ depiction of gender inequality in sports media?
  1. What is Daniels’ hypothesis about the impact of images of women athletes on girls and women? How does she go about studying it?
  2. What sorts of images of women athletes does the author find has a positive effect on girls? How do you think this research could be used to change the way media presents women athletes?


Article 3: Williams, Dmitri, Nicole Martins, Mia Consalvo and James Ivory. 2009. “The virtual census: representations of gender, race and age in video games.” New Media & Society. 11(5): 815-834.

Abstract: A large-scale content analysis of characters in video games was employed to answer questions about their representations of gender, race and age in comparison to the US population. The sample included 150 games from a year across nine platforms, with the results weighted according to game sales. This innovation enabled the results to be analyzed in proportion to the games that were actually played by the public, and thus allowed the first statements able to be generalized about the content of popular video games. The results show a systematic over-representation of males, white and adults and a systematic under-representation of females, Hispanics, Native Americans, children and the elderly. Overall, the results are similar to those found in television research. The implications for identity, cognitive models, cultivation and game research are discussed.

  1. How does a census of characters in video games match up with the real world population, in terms of gender, race and age? Why do you think this is?
  2. Why do game representations matter, according to the authors?
  3. Do you think social inequalities in video game representations influence or reflect the real world?
  4. Who makes these games and who plays them, in terms of gender, race and age? How do producers and audiences matter when it comes to social inequality being represented in the media?


Article 4: Hughey, Matthew W. and Jessie Daniels. 2013. “Racist comments at online news sites: a methodological dilemma for discourse analysis.” Media, Culture & Society. 35(3): 332-347.

Abstract: In 2004, awash with the hope for a public sphere reinvigorated by the popular internet, the online arms of many U.S. newspapers opened their websites for comments. Now, nine years into this experiment, many newspapers have abandoned the practice of allowing comments. Online news sites have adopted a variety of strategies to deal with offensive comments, including turning “comments off,” not archiving comments, and adopting aggressive comment moderation policies. These strategies present researchers who wish to understand how racism operates in the new public sphere of mainstream news sites with a set of methodological dilemmas. In this article we (1) lay out the methodological pitfalls for the systematic investigation of the prevalent pattern of racism in online comments in the public sphere and (2) suggest steps by which scholars may deal with these methodological intricacies. We conclude by pointing to the broader implications of online content moderation.

  1. How does race intersect with the idea of the “public sphere” in this article?
  2. How do the trends of racism in news coverage as covered in Ch. 6 connect to the comments sections of news websites? Does new media amplify or alter the role of modern racism in media representation of people of color?
  3. What do you think news websites should do about comments sections in order to reduce racism? Which policies seem most effective?
  4. Why do you think comments sections lend themselves to the presence of such “overt racism”? Have you ever witnessed this yourself?