ERIC Number: ED205958
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The Image of the Woman Journalist in American Popular Fiction 1890 to the Present.
Twenty-two short stories and seven novels, each with a woman journalist as a major character, were used in an analysis of the image of the woman journalist in four time periods (1890-1920, 1920-1940, 1940-1945, and 1945 to the present). The themes of the stories changed over time, often reflecting the prevailing cultural attitudes about working women, but the image of the woman journalist throughout the stories tended to be of a competent, independent, courageous, and compassionate professional. In all the time periods, compassion caused conflicts in professional responsibilities and at times the loss of professional respect. A consistent stereotype throughout the fiction portrayed the woman journalist as better than female--or more like the male--thus explaining her professional ability as well as her loss of personal happiness (which depended on feminine qualities) when her male traits became too strong. The image of the woman journalist changed from that of a relatively strong, capable woman in the earliest period (1890-1920) to a less competent, more emotional, more feminine woman in the middle period (1920-1940), to a highly competent but somewhat unreal and irrational woman during the World War II period, and to a more individualistic, competent, less stereotypical woman striving for professional identity in the face of stereotyping in the most recent period (primarily after 1963). (RL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: News Reporters
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (64th, East Lansing, MI, August 8-11, 1981).