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They're earnest and optimistic. They embrace the system. They are pragmatic idealists, tinkerers more than dreamers, life hackers. Their world is so flat that they have no leaders, which is why revolutions from Occupy Wall Street to Tahrir Square have even less chance than previous rebellions.
They want constant approval--they post photos from the dressing room as they try on clothes. They have massive fear of missing out and have an acronym for everything including FOMO. They're celebrity obsessed but don't respectfully idolize celebrities from a distance. Thus Us magazine's "They're just like us! They're not into going to church, even though they believe in God, because they don't identify with big institutions; one-third of adults under 30, the highest percentage ever, are religiously unaffiliated.
They want new experiences, which are more important to them than material goods. They are cool and reserved and not all that passionate. They are informed but inactive: they hate Joseph Kony but aren't going to do anything about Joseph Kony. They are probusiness. They're financially responsible; although student loans have hit record highs, they have less household and credit-card debt than any previous generation on record--which, admittedly, isn't that hard when you're living at home and using your parents' credit card.
They love their phones but hate talking on them. They are not only the biggest generation we've ever known but maybe the last large birth grouping that will be easy to generalize about. There are already microgenerations within the millennial group, launching as often as new iPhones, depending on whether you learned to type before Facebook, Twitter, iPads or Snapchat. Those rising microgenerations are all horrifying the ones right above them, who are their siblings.
In particular, this analysis examines whether the declining coverage found in news broadcasts is also apparent within the covers of sport magazines.
Before discussing this study in greater depth, we review the relevant literature in order to engage issues related to the under-representation and misrepresentation of women in sport. According to Lumpkin and Williams, Comparatively, women wrote 4. Also worth mentioning is the fact that, on average, the total column length for articles with male subjects was 65 inches, while articles regarding females measured about 54 inches.
While the total number of articles featuring women was dwarfed by those about men, Lumpkin and Williams found on average, that feature articles concerning women actually contained more pictures than male features, 3.
This is interesting because although more was written about males, when females did receive coverage they were visually depicted at higher rates within the pages of Sports Illustrated.
Unfortunately, no information was offered by Lumpkin and Williams as to the types of poses portrayed i. However, analysis of the language used to describe females was performed, which will be discussed in the Misrepresentation section of this work.
A follow-up study by Fink and Kensicki analysed articles all featuring pictures in Sports Illustrated from , revealing that articles contained pictures of men, while only 96 offered images of women. This pattern of under-representation is not limited to periodicals such as Sports Illustrated, as scholarship by Duncan and Messner reveals. Based upon the data gathered, Duncan and Messner , p. Messner and Cooky also document a similar decline on SportsCenter, where women received two per cent of the airtime in and only one per cent in When considering the issue of under-representation in sport media, the work performed by Hardin, et al.
Specifically, Hardin et al. The findings of this study are crucial, because sport journalism textbooks help inform the practices of future sport media personnel.
For example, the category dressed but poised and pretty suggests that athletes wear suitable attire to compete in their respective sport, but are not portrayed in a way which conveys athletic action. The May 19, issue of Sports Illustrated further demonstrates this, as it features race car driver Danica Patrick in her racing gear, hands resting on her helmet, looking at the camera.
She appears to be wearing make-up, and is not positioned near her race car.
Furthermore, the category of non-sport setting can also be found in recent magazine issues. Without knowing that Venus and Serena are accomplished tennis players, one is left to guess at whether or not they are indeed athletes. To be fair, this cover commemorated the year anniversary of the magazine, and none of the athletes chosen for inclusion on the cover were depicted in any way that would identify them as participants of their respective sport. And yet, because most females are more often portrayed in passive poses, these images serve to trivialize female athletic accomplishment, which is amplified due to the virtual non-existence of females on magazine covers.
One of the most oft-pictured athletes, track star Florence Griffith-Joyner, was regularly photographed in sexualized ways which were reinforced with text alongside the picture. In this way, mass-produced sexualized and semi-pornographic pictures of women, such as the annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, serve as a means of maintaining systemic control over women.
Each question will be specifically discussed and answered in the results section. Specifically, has the percentage of females on the covers of these magazines increased or decreased since , the year last documented by Lumpkin and Williams?
Q2 — Do these sports magazine covers depict women actively in approximately the same proportion as active men? Q3 — Are there any significant trends in coverage?
In particular, this work seeks to describe both the extent and ways in which female athletes are represented on the covers of Sports Illustrated in the years since Lumpkin and Williams conducted their study. It also includes ESPN the Magazine established March 11, , and explores the extent and ways in which women are represented on these magazine covers. For the coding phase of this project, each magazine cover from ESPN the Magazine January through to December and Sports Illustrated January through to December was critically examined.
To ensure better consistency, the entire set of covers of each magazine published during this time was reviewed twice by the first author, using identical criteria for each individual cover.
It is also worth clarifying the importance of two situations: some covers feature both men and women while others have no human subjects. What follows is a section detailing the rationale for coding certain covers as active or passive. Commonalities of the studies included classifying individuals in pictures as male or female, as well as active or passive. However, where the Hardin, et al. For the purpose of this study, active covers consisted of any picture including or inferring motions from sport or that mimicked sport movement.
Active covers were ones which showed in-game action, intensity, sweat, and included such actions as players being tackled, dodging tackles, batters wincing while being hit by pitches, stretched and flexed muscles, blocked shots, backswings, diving catches, and similar movements. Conversely, passive covers tended to have a calm, posed, or nonchalant feel about them. Poses included sitting and smiling at the camera, glancing away from the camera in seeming idleness — and in the case of the swimsuit issues in particular— overt sexualization of the body in ways meant to elicit gaze from the viewer.
Posed subjects often looked timid, non-threatening, and non-athletic. In addition, fans watching action which took place in the foreground of the cover were considered passive.
The crowd has many females and males, all of whom were coded as passive. To better illustrate the coding process, what follows is an analysis of a Sports Illustrated cover featuring Michael Jordan from February 14, At first glance, the image of Jordan idly holding a basketball suggests passivity, however this cover was coded as active because it is appears that Jordan is eyeing the rim, flexing his arm and readying his shot: a sports movement that he would use during a game.
The July 22, cover featuring Jackie Joyner-Kersee in the middle of an attempt to throw the javelin with back arm cocked back was similarly coded as active. In contrast, the June 28, cover depicting Jordan holding the NBA Championship Trophy in one hand, a basketball in the other was coded as passive. He and teammate Scottie Pippen are celebrating the Bulls' 3rd championship victory, but are not captured in a way which portrays any sports movement.
Another example of a passively coded cover was the May 10, issue of Sports Illustrated. In contrast, the June 28, cover depicting Jordan holding the NBA Championship Trophy in one hand, a basketball in the other was coded as passive. He and teammate Scottie Pippen are celebrating the Bulls' 3rd championship victory, but are not captured in a way which portrays any sports movement. Another example of a passively coded cover was the May 10, issue of Sports Illustrated.
On the cover, a visibly terrified Monica Seles is being held and tended to by at least two people after she was attacked with a knife on the tennis court.
She is lying down, depicted not only as a victim, but also as a passive recipient of the attack, unable to do anything about it on her own. Here, current WNBA star Diana Taurasi is actively spinning or balancing a basketball on her finger, yet the athletes on this cover are clearly posed.
Because active classification would consist of performing or mimicking a movement used in one's respective sport, this cover was considered passive as Taurasi would not use this move in a game of basketball. While this could be read and coded as an active pose, the criteria of this study deemed the cover to be passive because this is not a sport movement although Knight did his fair share of yelling during games.
The results obtained through this process have been compiled and presented in the chart that follows. In order to better illustrate these numerical findings, several covers were subsequently chosen as representative of the categories featured in this analysis. These covers were then subjected to a critical interpretive analysis, as guided by previous analyses of Sports Illustrated, where they were evaluated for particular themes and images contained within each.
The aggregate number of females on covers was out of 6. Lumpkin and Williams found that 8. More specifically, Sports Illustrated printed a cover with a female on only 6.
By any metric, the answer to Q1 is a resounding no — Sport Illustrated and ESPN the Magazine have not improved the number of females featured on their covers. This study found that only 41 of the In fact, a miniscule 41 issues out of all of the covers studied 2. In total, covers with an active male account for A much higher percentage of males were depicted as active on Sports Illustrated covers — of were represented as active Given these numbers, the answer to Q2 is also in the negative — women are not portrayed as active in the same proportion as men.
While classifying and analysing the covers from each year, it seemed as though a progressively smaller percentage of covers displayed females. To investigate this apparent trend, data was broken down into three time periods, each with roughly an equal number of years: , , and This aggregated data helped to isolate key trends. During the first time period, 8. Only 4. This final figure of just below five per cent is consistent with the data reported by Hardin, et al. The issue of declining representation also mirrors the previously discussed findings by Messner and Cooky as well as Duncan and Messner One complicating trend also noted is the increasing depiction of men in passive poses on the magazine covers.
This clearly is a new development and most likely reflects the broader movement toward the exaltation of celebrity and celebrity athletes within US culture. While ESPN the Magazine has a history of depicting men as passive, also of interest is how the Sports Illustrated data changed once ESPN the Magazine was established in ; perhaps as a response to the advent of ESPN the Magazine and its focus on sporting personalities, Sports Illustrated has more recently shown a higher percentage of passive male athletes on its covers.
To demonstrate more fully, consider that Sports Illustrated covers from was the last year before ESPN the Magazine was put into circulation featured covers with males, of whom were featured in passive poses From , however, covers featured males, of whom were represented passively The years help to demonstrate this trend more explicitly, as covers depicted males, of whom were coded as passive This is a development which warrants further attention and is an issue we discuss more fully below.
The trend started with the aforementioned cover which featured Monica Seles after a knife attack on the court, and encompassed several different angles on the tragic issue of women in sports. Each respective cover was selected because it was a prototypically representational cover based on the data from each source.
To clarify, each source showed that a majority of females were portrayed as passive, and often posed; therefore each critical read was performed on a cover which represents women in this way.
Furthermore, ESPN the Magazine depicted an overwhelming majority of both males and females in passive and posed positions that is, non-game photographs , so a cover was selected which showed posed males and females. Resonance with the reader, then, makes these representations all the more profound.
If greater, it was due to males and females both appearing on one cover, and if lesser, it was because of a cover that featured neither male nor female. Both women are portrayed in passively posed positions which accentuate their breasts. Furthermore, both bodies are white, very tan, slim, and defined but not muscular. While fantasy baseball is a popular pastime, the headline and parenthetical phrases mentioned above refer to the two conventionally attractive, barely-clothed women on the boat with Cabrera.
Cabrera is an MVP-calibre professional baseball player, and as the idealized symbol of all men, his presence towers over these women. It is seemingly no coincidence that ESPN the Magazine chose conventionally attractive women for this role, and posed them suggestively in skimpy bathing suits.
This ESPN the Magazine cover was similar to the annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit covers, which serve to perpetuate the same idea that women are outsiders within sport and just look pretty. The July 11, Sports Illustrated cover features a posed picture of softball legend, Jennie Finch, who serves as a prototypically sexualized and trivialized female on a Sports Illustrated magazine. Finch is clearly wearing make-up, and dressed in a way which reveals her midriff.
While she could have been dressed in USA softball gear to more clearly identify her as an athlete, Sports Illustrated chose to take the posed and pretty approach, never explicitly mentioning the connection to her athleticism as one of the most successful softball pitchers of all time. In this way, Finch has not only been denied her due identification as a world-class athlete, but she is also reduced from a woman to an object composed of particular body parts.