Semester of Graduation

May 2021

Degree

Master of Mass Communication (MMC)

Department

Manship School of Mass Communication

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Women’s Gymnastics is one of the most popular events at the Summer Olympic Games and media coverage of the team provides a unique perspective on women’s athletics, as gymnastics is traditionally considered a feminine sport. Utilizing a discourse analysis, this thesis examines the newspaper coverage received by the team in the last 25 years. This thesis explores the narratives regarding gender within the coverage and additionally explores how abuse narratives were discussed in news media throughout theses years. This research shows that how female gymnasts are discussed is growing in type of coverage received, meaning that how female gymnastics is discussed has transitioned from narratives of “small girls” to “athletes” and “women” while also presenting evidence of how sexual assault and abuse coverage, especially regarding victims, still has room for growth.

Committee Chair

Grimm, Joshua

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