Lookup NU author(s): Dr Orly Siow
This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Sage Publications Ltd, 2017.
For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Leaders’ debates have become a feature of contemporary election campaigning. While an historical feature of the US landscape, in the United Kingdom, they are a more recent phenomenon. The second UK 2015 general election leadership debate comprised seven candidates, of which three were women. Using qualitative thematic analysis and adopting the notion that gender is ‘performed’, we explore three features of coverage of the debate. First, the ways in which the debate itself was constructed as a masculine activity through a series of highly gendered metaphors; second, how newspaper frames reinforced gendered notions of masculinity and femininity in respect of political leadership; and third, how the success of women in the debates was constructed as the emasculation of their male rivals. Crucially, we focus not just on the ‘feminisation’ of women in the political arena, but also on the ways in which masculinity is posited as the criterion for the evaluation of politicians of all genders.
Author(s): Harmer E, Savigny H, Ward O
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Media, Culture & Society
Print publication date: 01/10/2017
Online publication date: 15/12/2016
Acceptance date: 18/10/2016
Date deposited: 08/08/2019
ISSN (print): 0163-4437
ISSN (electronic): 1460-3675
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd
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