Date of Award

5-2005

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Communication and Information

Major Professor

Michelle Violanti

Committee Members

Lisa L. Fall, Candace White, Joy T. DeSensi

Abstract

Media represent a dominant constructor of reality in today's mediated culture, and frame research has examined this construction, particularly in sport, and concluded that media influence the continuance of hegemonic ideals that devalue women (Carragee & Roefs, 2004; Funkhauser, 1973; Lind & Salo, 2002). Framing's alignment with agenda setting centers on the transfer of frames from agenda to agenda through frame sponsorship and incorporates an examination of power by considering who influences the media agenda (Carragee & Roefs, 2004). A sport gender frame sponsorship analysis revealed the continuance and dominance of negative gender frames in both public relations and media texts. It also identified an additional negative gender frame in sport, the hierarchy of topics, in both public relations material and media. Analysis also confirmed the inclusion of frame sponsorship in process models; however it noted a distinction between issue frame sponsorship and attribute frame sponsorship. Frames were found to transfer issues and attributes separately, just as agenda setting research. Sport public relations personnel were successful in placing their frames in media discourse, but the centrality of power in frame sponsorship raises ideological concerns. The study found damaging gender frames were sponsored and placed successfully in media discourse, perpetuating the devaluation of women athletes and women's sport, but positive gender frames were also successfully sponsored. Thus frame sponsorship is an active component of the framing process and serves as a viable consideration in producing counter-hegemonic frames to challenge dominant ideology in sport.

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