Gender Stereotypes and Election Coverage in South Korea

Grants and Contracts Details


Do gender stereotypes shape media coverage of executive candidates? This project contributes to the literature on gender stereotypes and election media coverage in four specific ways. First, I take advantage of the recent election of multiple female candidates to mayoral and presidential posts in South Korea to examine how gender stereotypes shape media coverage of female candidates. In doing so, I situate my analysis of Korea in the comparative context with U.S., and other Western countries. Second, my research builds on existing theories of gender, media coverage, and politics by considering how different gender stereotypes may emerge in the Korean culture as compared to those in Western cultures. Third, I offer new hypotheses about how the political leanings of the news media outlet shapes gendered news coverage. Finally, I collect an original dataset to test my hypotheses using newspaper coverage from the five leading newspapers in Korea. The contribution of this dataset will not be limited to research on gender stereotypes but can also be used to investigate more general questions about political campaigns and media coverage. Women are underrepresented in virtually all elected offices worldwide. For example, despite making up over 50% of the world¡¯s adult population, women occupy only around 20% of parliamentary seats worldwide. Korea is no exception to this. Women have historically been underrepresented in the Korean National Assembly as well as other elected political positions. Today, women hold only 15% of seats in the National Assembly (IPU 2013). This underrepresentation in Korea is part attributed to the influence of the Confucian culture. Somewhat related, in the West, Women¡¯s underrepresentation in elected office can be attributed .at least in the pervasive use of gendered stereotypes that undermine the women¡¯s credibility as political leaders. Importantly, these stereotypes have been perpetuated by biased, differential media coverage of male and female politicians. Are these same gender stereotypes pervasive in media coverage of female political candidates in Korea? In recent elections, a number of female candidates have been nominated for significant electoral posts, and several of these candidates have won major elections (e.g., presidential and mayoral posts). In 2013 Park Geun-hye assumed the office of President becoming the first female head of state in modern history of Northeast Asia. These rapid changes in women¡¯s presences in highprofile political positions provide an interesting opportunity for students of gender, media, and politics to extend theories of media framing developed in the United States of America to the Korea context.
Effective start/end date6/1/145/31/16


  • Academy of Korean Studies: $20,000.00


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