Gendered Journalism Cultures. Strategies and Tactics in the Fields of Journalism in Britain and Sweden

Abstract: The aim of the dissertation is to explore the way journalism works in two social fields of journalism, those of Britain and Sweden, from 1989 to 2002. The focus of the study is on creation and re-creation of value systems, power-struggles, and on their gendered nature. The dissertation is placed in the theoretical crossroads of sociology of journalism, feminism and cultural studies and this theoretical abduction process is summarised in the concept journalism culture. The tools used to analyse the fields were appropriated from the theoretical worlds of Pierre Bourdieu and Michel de Certeau. Three studies have been done: one large questionnaire to 1500 Swedish journalists in 1989, and two thematic interview studies of 33 British journalists between 1992 and 2002. In addition, secondary research material of both quantitative and qualitative nature has been used. The conclusion of the book is that similarities outweigh the differences between the two journalism cultures of Britain and Sweden. And both cultures are similarly permeated by the gendered logic of journalism. The author argues that continuous battles on the fields were going on over doxa (a belief-system of what journalism “is”, and how to do it). And she shows that the doxas, through these battles, show both stability and change. She argues that the powerful elite was under attack by new groups of journalists, and that the elite use various strategies to ward off the new groups, who in turn use tactics to gain access to the fields and to positions of power, and to cope in their everyday work. Four tactics were identified. Issues of feminisation and gentrification of journalism are also discussed.