Feminist Theory and the Media
Media’s relations to gender have been topic of academic inquiry since the 1960s. Feminist scholars soon began to criticize the androcentric character of mainstream sciences addressing these relations. Three epistemologies - feminist empiricism, feminist standpoint theory, and feminist postmodernism - emanated from these criticisms, which still inform feminist theory on media today. Different beliefs in who, what and how to know mark each epistemology. These epistemological values and beliefs have serious consequences for feminist theories generated about media and gender. In this entry, the three epistemologies are described. Next, the three major disciplines in which media and gender are studied (psychoanalysis, social psychology and cultural studies) are discussed and illustrated by one of the major theories within a particular field. Each field is scrutinized for the impact of these epistemological foundations that are simultaneously responsible for each discipline’s merits as well as its limitations.