The paper “Leveraging Big Data to Study Media Discourse on Equal Opportunities – Insights from a pilot study on Italy” by Elena Pavan, Sara Tonelli and Giovanni Moretti has been accepted for publication on Comunicazione Politica.
Comunicazione Politica is the leading Italian journal that studies, analyzes and discusses the relationships between media and politics and it is edited by Società Editrice il Mulino.
This short essay proposes an innovative methodological approach to investigate the implications of the media discourse for the achievement of gender equality. It does so by focussing on the «discursive opportunities» that the media provide for the issue of gender equality to become a visible, resonant, and legitimate social issue within the public discourse. Thus, our proposed approach innovates extant perspectives in two ways. First, in order to address the active intervention of media in the definition of the cognitive and the symbolical boundaries of gender equality within the public discourse, we borrow the concept of «discursive opportunities» from social movement studies. Secondly, our approach takes advantage from current extensive digitalization processes to examine with enhanced granularity the contents of gender equality media discourse and, therefore, to elaborate on its role and implications. Given that the mediated construction of gender inequalities is not brought about by digitalization but, rather, is affected by it in ways that we have just begun to understand, our proposed approach embeds big data within a broader and hybrid approach, which combines the automated analysis of extensive datasets with qualitative and in-depth study techniques.