Concept Analysis of Gender, Feminist, and Women’s Studies Research in the Communication Literature

Author: Timothy Stephen (Department of Communication, University at Albany & President of CIOS)

Description: In recent decades a distinctive literature has accumulated discussing the role of gender, feminism, and women’s studies-related research (GFWS) in the communication field; however, questions persist about how this research is represented in the field’s literature. This article sketches the history of this representation in a field test of a concept mapping technique that tracks patterns of publication and isolates conceptual associations within the titles of GFWS articles. Findings support the idea that the feminist scholarship is represented by a unique configuration of conceptual relationships, has a history unto itself separated from that of studies of gender or sex differences, and that feminist research has entered the literature in two distinctly different eras. Feminist research has a unique and uneven pattern of representation in the field’s literature. The concept mapping methodology is argued to provide one means for offsetting the fragmentation of the discipline’s scholarship that has occurred as a result of the rapid proliferation of new specialized communication journals occurring throughout the last three decades.

Reference: Stephen, T. (2000). Concept Analysis of Gender, Feminist, and Women’s Studies Research in the Communication Literature. Communication Monographs. 67, 193-214.

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