French Journal For Media Research


CALL FOR PAPERS, French Journal for Media Research n°11/2019





Women in media, issues of discourse, gender and representation - between visibilities and invisibilities


Coordination : Hamida El Bour, Institut de Presse et des Sciences de l'Information, Université de La Manouba, Tunisia, Zeineb Touati, Université du Havre, France, Nawel Chaouni, Université de Toulouse1, Capitole, France



The place and power of conventional and digital media continue to grow. They play an important role in drawing our representation of the world and the approach in analyzing the social reality. The media, producers of images and speeches, convey opinions and codes as they are the mirror of the society in which they design representations (mental and institutional), ideas, symbolic processes, norms of identity, etc. The interactions between media and society generate permanently, meanings, models and representations. Indeed, since the 1960s, the role of classical media in constructing the social representations has been highlighted (Moscovici, 1961). Several types of research, dealing with various fields, show the influence of mass media including television, press and cinema in the process of transmitting the social representations ’evolution of gender and social relations between men and women.


This thematic issue addresses the different forms of visibility and invisibility of women in the news media (print, audiovisual and digital media). The aim is to characterize the place of women in the media field and to study the variations of the media discourse on women and/or the mediated female communication.


We wish to understand the images of women in the mediated public space, as well as the symbolic and media processes in constructing and diffusing women's representations. Thus, we propose three main topics.


AXIS 1: Representations of women in the mainstream media

What are the representations of women in the media today? What are the processes of symbolization representing the women in the media?


It’s obvious that the mass media contribute in producing, reproducing and conveying the social representations of women through the speeches, images and models proposed in the fiction or commercials, but also in the news and infotainment programs. For decades, feminists and NGO’s have denounced the role of conventional media in transmitting and maintaining a traditional image of women in the classic social roles of mother, wife or victim. They denounced, in France and elsewhere, an invisibility of the women outside these categories considered as restricted, restrictive or discriminative.


This awareness has given rise to several plans and actions to improve the women images in the media. Have the strategies for a better representation of women (quantitatively and qualitatively) in the media in France and abroad produced the changes desired by their initiators? What forms of contribution for the media regulating bodies in implementing the gender-based practices? How are the representations of women in the media today? Do mediated information contents go beyond sexist stereotypes? How to analyze the women representations in the light of the current media coverage of violence against women, and the necessity to denounce the harassment and abuse cases?



AXIS 2: Women and digital: What kind of images? What kind of discourses? Moreover, what sort of promises? 

What are the forms of feminine representations with the shed light of the new technologies evolution? These media allow new forms of expression, visibility and representation. What can we say about the specificities of feminine expression and figuration in digital media? Are there any real differences between conventional and digital media dealing with the image of women? Are the digital media giving the same women representations as for the mainstream media or do they allow for a sensitive gender evolution? What can we say about evolution in the rhetorical or structural forms and in the formats of the stories dedicated to women as well as in those produced by women on the internet?

Does the multiple and diverse digital space give women a real alternative to access to mainstream media? 


AXIS 3: Involvement and role of women in the media

What can be said about the involvement of women in the media? Several studies dealing with different approaches and fields (France, Maghreb, etc.) focused, for decades, on the limitations of the space given to women in the mainstream media.  It is clear that in numbers, women are present in the media, but their role is limited. They were poorly represented in the decision-making bodies of the editors, among the stakeholders of media and had little presence in the specific areas or themes of politics or economics. Women journalists were mostly confined to information sectors related to their classic social roles as mothers and wives. Their journalistic production is thought and constructed as a continuity of their family and domestic responsibilities (health, education, psychology ...). To which extent can we say that the situation changed? Does women's journalistic production cover all sectors or is it still driven by gender imperatives? What is the place of women in media management and regulatory bodies? We address both the forms of visibility and invisibility of women in traditional and new media formats, the involvement of women in media strategies in general, and we are seeking for the indicators of gender balance and/or imbalance.


We question all the issues raised about women and the media. Comparative analyses on various study areas in terms of temporalities or geographies are appreciated. It is indeed interesting to have a transnational vision of this issue in order to integrate analyses and to bring together different practices in other regions of the world.

Lighting from other disciplines would be valuable.The question of the visibility and representations of women in the media is, of course, appealing to the information and communication sciences. It is, however, a study field for discourse analysis, semiotic analysis, sociological view of representations and the historical perspective especially the evolution of representations or portrayals of women in the media.




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o   Full-text submission:              September 30, 2018

o   Notification:                            November 1st, 2018

o   Revised text submission:       December 1st, 2018




The main body of the paper should be a maximum of 11 000 words in length. Full guidelines can be found here: "Guidelines").

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, «Appel à articles FJMR n°12/2019 - Call for Papers FJMR n°10/2018», French Journal For Media Research [online], News/Actualités, last update the : 13/02/2019, URL :



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