Unnecessary roughness: ESPN's Construction of hypermasculine citizenship in the Penn State sex abuse scandal

Brian L. Ott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

This essay undertakes an analysis of ESPN's coverage of the "Penn State sex abuse scandal" during the first week following the release of the November 2011 Grand Jury presentment, which indicted former Penn State college football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky on 40 counts of criminal sexual abuse. Understanding ESPN's coverage-its particular framing of this story-is important and instructive, for it reveals how the news media shape public attitudes and opinions, pressure public officials, and model agentive citizenship in response to public traumas. Specifically, it is argued that ESPN's visualnarrative framing of the scandal perpetuates a hypermasculine (and heteronormative) fantasy of violent vigilante justice that reduces political agency to personal and private acts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-332
Number of pages3
JournalCultural Studies - Critical Methodologies
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2012

Keywords

  • ESPN
  • citizenship
  • hypermasculinity
  • news media
  • sexuality

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