Media representations of femicide. A systematic review of literature in English and Spanish

Media representations of femicide. A systematic review of literature in English and Spanish

The article was written by Mariana Aldrete (CNSC) and Nermin Taşkale, Eloísa Rivera Ramirez and Víctor Daniel Gil Vera. They provide an analysis of available research, mapping main advances in the field. They conducted an exhaustive review of 213 journal articles and book chapters dealing with empirical evidence on media. This work aims to provide a tool for identifying common patterns of representation and to serve as a basis for global analyses.

The relevance of analysing media discourses on femicide has been noted by a significant number of researchers and the literature has grown exponentially. However, a literature review has not been undertaken. Femicide has become an international indicator of gender inequality, and studies have consistently shown that discriminatory media discourses influence the justification of violence. However, gender-based violence (GBV) is nuanced by intersectional and cultural relations.

The study showed that media representations of femicide depend more on the type of media analysed than on the geographical zone. Studies on news found the most victim-blaming and perpetrator-justification narratives; studies on social media and performance found the visibility of activists’ and victims’ discourses; studies on novels, documentaries and feature films highlighted how authors use narrative to convey the context of GBV or reproduce stereotypes. Structures of victim blaming, perpetrator justification and otherisation cut across different types of media, suggesting common processes and mutual nourishment. A wide range of sources expose and disseminate stories with embedded discriminatory discourses. Even if the stories are presented as fictional, as in artistic media, or as an exceptional real case in the news, and are not intended to present the causes of extreme GBV as universal, the constant repetition of the same patterns produces social representations that may influence discriminatory practices against victims.

Citation: Mariana Aldrete, Nermin Taşkale, Eloísa Rivera Ramirez & Víctor Daniel Gil Vera (01 Apr 2024): Media representations of femicide. A systematic review of literature

in English and Spanish, Annals of the International Communication Association, DOI:10.1080/23808985.2024.2336924