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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2020

Beldina Owalla and Aziza Al Ghafri

This paper aims to critically analyze media discourses on women owner-managers/entrepreneurs (OMEs) in the Kenyan and Omani newspapers.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to critically analyze media discourses on women owner-managers/entrepreneurs (OMEs) in the Kenyan and Omani newspapers.

Design/methodology/approach

A critical discourse analysis is carried out on a total of 408 online media articles (174 articles from Omani newspapers and 234 articles from Kenyan newspapers) on women OMEs over the period 2010-2018. Articles are also classified based on their framing of women’s entrepreneurship.

Findings

Five main categories of media discourses are identified, i.e. discourses on government/institutional initiatives; women OMEs’ dependency; women OMEs’ femininity; women OMEs’ societal impact; and normalization of women OMEs. These gendered media discourses and underlying assumptions further perpetuate women OMEs’ subordinate position in society, weaken their social legitimacy and trivialize their roles as managers and leaders in society.

Research limitations/implications

The analysis was limited to online articles published in mainstream media. Future research could focus on offline print media from smaller media distributors or other distribution channels.

Practical implications

Policymakers and media houses need to pay greater attention to the subtle mechanisms reproducing gender stereotypes. Women OMEs should also take a more active role in constructing their identity in the media.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the underlying assumptions of media discourses regarding women’s empowerment that negatively impacts their social legitimacy. This paper also draws attention to media’s role in the trivialization of women OMEs’ leadership and managerial roles and subsequent marginalization of their social status.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal , vol. 35 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

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