Room 1.28, Law & Politics Building
Time Slot: 
Tuesday 27th March 09:30 - 11:00
Panel Chair: 
  • Dr James Morrison (Robert Gordon University)
Panel Members: 
  • Professor Heather Savigny (De Montfort University)
  • Professor Alex Balch (University of Liverpool)
  • Dr Ekaterina Balabanova (University of Liverpool)
  • Dr Emily Harmer (University of Liverpool)

Misogyny, racism and political communication

We live in a decade when an apparent resurgence of racist and misogynistic political actors and movements have emerged across world politics, including in long-established democracies. Papers in this panel will attempt to analyse the extent to which sexism, misogyny and racism pervade media presentations and representations of women and migrants. There is a strong literature which discusses and details the role of women in politics, and the representation of women politicians in media coverage; this literature often tends to be treated as marginal to the field of political communication, and political science more widely. There is a need to restore the 'political' into any analysis of political communication and a need for gender to be incorporated in to that analysis. The nature and extent of abuse received by prominent women in public life reveals that women of colour are subjected to a disproportionate amount of misogynistic abuse and racial slurs. This is a huge problem that requires public attention and whilst existing studies go some way to identifying the problem, they do little to analyse the true extent to which women in public life are ‘othered’ in the digital environment. It is essential to address such problems to ensure that othering in the everyday working environment of women does not become a way of excluding historically underrepresented groups from formal political affairs. Also, as anti-immigrant rhetoric has swept across Europe in the wake of the so-called ‘migrant crisis’, the media has often been blamed for fanning the flames of populism. In an age when sexist and racist language is employed by political leaders of mainstream parties, the role of the media in, among other things, the rise of new populism in Europe, the spread and influence of far-right ideologies, the use of racist ideas and the threat of a return of fascism needs to be examined, and a cross-national comparison of attitudes from case studies in the UK, Germany, Hungary and Bulgaria enables a systematic evaluation of the prevalence and evolution of specific political ideas within public debates.