Gender, Charisma and the Food Network

Date: January 1, 1970
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Media scholars have written about the unequal representations of gender in television, film and news and assigned blame to such things as systemic social forces like patriarchy or industry problems such as news routines. This paper uses the concept of charisma as an analytical tool for understanding discrepancies in achieving celebrity in the food television world. It is argued that the concept of charisma has been traditional linked to the performance of masculinity and this thus works against women gaining a more prominent voice in media. The cable channel the Food Network is analyzed as a case study to examine how charisma is realized differently by female and male program hosts and how this ends up foregrounding the talents of elite male chefs over the caring, female, domestic cooks. This has implications for women’s entry into various public spaces, not just television.

Publisher: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, New Orleans Sheraton, New Orleans, LA, May 27, 2004
Year of Publication: 2007

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