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The European Journal of Communication Research

Ed. by Averbeck-Lietz, Stefanie / d'Haenens, Leen

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Volume 44, Issue 1


Emotional woman – rational man? Gender stereotypical emotional expressivity of German politicians in news broadcasts

Anna-Maria Renner / Lena Masch
  • Department of Sociology Institute of Social Sciences Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf Düsseldorf Germany
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Published Online: 2019-03-16 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2017-0048


Drawing on literature about the different television coverage of male and female politicians and gender-specific leadership behavior, differences in the visibility of female and male politicians’ emotions on television can be assumed. These assumptions are particularly relevant when considering studies on the effects of politician’s emotional displays on voters’ assessments. In order to examine the prevalence of female and male politicians’ emotions, we conducted a visual media content analysis of about 1,000 video sequences based on a sample of 66 news broadcasts. Since this comprehensive sample includes video sequences of German politicians holding various positions within the political system, it enables us to draw generalizable conclusions on the televised emotionality of leading politicians. We find that female politicians’ emotions can be seen more frequently on television than male politicians’ emotions. Moreover, female politicians’ positive emotions are shown more frequently than those of male politicians.

Keywords: gender bias; emotional expressions; television news; female politicians

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Published Online: 2019-03-16

Published in Print: 2019-03-14

Citation Information: Communications, Volume 44, Issue 1, Pages 81–103, ISSN (Online) 1613-4087, ISSN (Print) 0341-2059, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2017-0048.

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