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The Boss And Daddy’s Little Girl: On The Construction Of Gender In Swedish Business Media

Magnus Hansson, Hanna Gottfridsson, Sandra Raanaes

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Purpose This paper aims to analyse the construction of gender in business media through identification of media discourses in terms of vocabulary and vocabulary structures. Design/methodology/approach The authors conduct critical discourse analysis and linguistic text analysis of media articles in two Swedish business magazines, focussing on vocabulary and vocabulary structures used to describe men and women as managers. Findings Media texts fall into traditional, gender-stereotyped patterns. The use of metaphors, choice of words and sentence structures construct and maintain stereotyped models of gender. The linguistic practices and use of specific and gender-biased vocabulary shape discursive practices, contributing to the construction and reconstruction of institutionalised gender-stereotyped patterns of behaviour and established social norms. Research limitations/implications The focus on vocabulary and vocabulary structures extends the technique and application of critical discourse analysis, enabling fine-grained analyses, in this case of media texts. This research also indicates a need for future studies that adopt a critical discourse analysis to take into account analytical procedures that shed light on micro-mechanisms that support the materialisations of gender inequalities. Social implications Texts that portray both men and women show gender bias that is deeply rooted in the vocabulary and vocabulary structures and thus help to reinforce established discursive practices and gender inequalities. Therefore, there is a need for a fundamental change in the media reports on managers. Originality/value The research contributes to the analysis of media texts and representations of men and women as managers by providing a detailed analysis of discursive practices that takes into account vocabulary and vocabulary structures. The findings show the deeply rooted structure of gender-stereotyped patterns in media texts.