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Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship


Document Type

Peer Reviewed Article

Publication Date

Winter 1998


In this study, we examined framing in the U.S. and Chinese press coverage of the Fourth United Nations Conference on Women and the Non-Governmental Organizations Forum in Beijing in 1995. This study had 2 objectives: (a) to systematically assess the coverage of this global feminist event and the extent to which its critical areas of concern were communicated to the public, and (b) to illuminate the dynamics of framing in a comparative context and contribute to its further theoretical development. Employing quantitative and qualitative methods, this study found evidence of the operation of an anticommunist and an antifeminist frame in the U.S. coverage. Under the influence of dominant ideology, the U.S. coverage of the conference focused considerably on an extended criticism of China as a communist nation. The goals of the global feminist movement and their critical areas of concern appeared to hold far less immediacy and salience for the U.S. press than the need to assert dominant U.S. values. On the other hand, under the influence of communist ideology, the Chinese coverage reflected a proequality frame and a strong focus on the critical issues of concern to the global feminist movement. Despite the existence of a propagandistic emphasis on the country's extensive preparations as conference host as well as efforts to defend against Western criticism, nationalistic praise for China was far more subtle than originally expected.


NOTICE: This is the publisher's PDF version and is reprinted by permission of the Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication. The citation for the original article is:

Akhavan-Majid, Roya, and Jyotika Ramaprasad (1998) "Framing and Ideology: A Comparative Analysis of U.S. and Chinese Newspaper Coverage of the Fourth United Nations Conference on Women and the NGO Forum." Mass Communication and Society, 1(3-4): 131-152 (Winter 1998). DOI: 10.1080/15205436.1998.9677853 (published by Taylor & Francis)



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