The witch and the warrior

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5 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study used frame analysis to explore gendered frames and archetypes in the news coverage of two mass shootings, in which both suspects were White, middle-class university professors: Amy Bishop at the University of Alabama and George Zinkhan at the University of Georgia. Three people were killed in each of the shootings, but the amount of coverage on Bishop exceeded by about four times the amount of news about Zinkhan-a difference whose magnitude can hardly be explained only by the circumstances of the shootings. Although the female professor committed murder in a professional setting, due to dissatisfaction with a career outcome, the coverage focused on her personal life and alleged psychological instability, in line with the archetype of the "Female Monster." By contrast, the coverage of Zinkhan's crime, committed in highly personal circumstances-the murder of his wife and two men at a picnic-fit a patriarchal, Othello-like archetype of a man embroiled in a crime of passion, and focused mostly on his successful career, lacking an investigation of past abusive behavior that may have preceded the murder. The news coverage serves to exemplify the societal discourse on women and men who kill.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-317
Number of pages17
JournalFeminist Media Studies
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 4 2014

Keywords

  • archetypes
  • framing
  • gender
  • stereotypes
  • violence

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