Explaining Gang Rape in a “Rough Town”: Diverse Voices in Gender Violence News Online†
Article first published online: 10 JAN 2013
© 2013 International Communication Association
Communication, Culture & Critique
Volume 6, Issue 1, pages 103–120, March 2013
How to Cite
Worthington, N. (2013), Explaining Gang Rape in a “Rough Town”: Diverse Voices in Gender Violence News Online†. Communication, Culture & Critique, 6: 103–120. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-9137.2012.01145.x
An earlier version of this paper was presented to the National Communication Association in November 2011 in New Orleans, LA.
- Issue published online: 19 FEB 2013
- Article first published online: 10 JAN 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 23 APR 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 10 MAR 2012
- Manuscript Received: 12 AUG 2011
This study examines online news about the gang rape of a teenage girl after she left her homecoming dance in Richmond, CA. I analyze news framing in the 49 relevant stories that appeared on SFGate.com from 2009 to 2011, when 7 suspects were ordered to stand trial individually. My goals were to determine the dominant meanings in online news about gang rape and to illuminate how coverage invoked identity discourse. Findings suggest that frames debated the crime's causes, with a variety of sources offering competing explanations, many of which invoked identity discourses tying intersections of gender, race, and class with place. In contrast to previous research, some framing implicated social structures by referencing gender socialization as a cause of rape.