Heinous Crime or Acceptable Violence? The Disparate Framing of Femicides in Hawai’i

Nicholas Chagnon

Abstract


Abstract

Violence against women is a pervasive social problem, yet it is under-reported in the press.  Scholars have long critiqued media for flawed coverage of this crime. Yet, few studies have specifically examined femicides using probability samples and an intersectional sensibility.  This study does that, examining a probability sample of femicide coverage in Hawaii’s two major dailies—The Honolulu Advertiser and Star-Bulletin—between 2000 and 2008.  Findings indicate that Hawaii’s newspapers frame femicides disparately—as an unacceptable social problem, or as routine, acceptable violence.  This disparate framing is accomplished through the clustering of patriarchal, racialized, and class-based discourses.  Considering Hawaii’s distinct racial/ethnic diversity, racialized discourses in this sample were particularly thought-provoking, employing insidious and nuanced racialized markers to ‘other’ various groups.  Findings regarding these racialized discourses may be generalizable to analyses of ‘post-racial’ discourse on an increasingly diverse mainland.


Keywords


crime media; violence against women; hegemonic ideology; femicides

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References


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