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Patriarchal Beliefs and Media Portrayal of Gender Relations. The Issue of Sex-Selective Abortion (SSA) in Montenegro, with Jovana Davidović

Patriarchal Beliefs and Media Portrayal of Gender Relations. The Issue of Sex-Selective Abortion (SSA) in Montenegro, with Jovana Davidović

Jovana Davidović, current visiting researcher at CritiCC, gave a presentation on her research on the dimensions of patriarchy in Montenegro and the role of the media in disseminating information on sex-selective abortion (SSA).

16.05.2021

 

At the beginning of the session, Jovana Davidović explained the context of Montenegro, a country that ranks among the 12 countries in the world with the most distorted ratio for SSA. For this reason, the UN has issued several warnings to Montenegro. In this country, patriarchal beliefs are still strong in their society. Political power is predominantly male. Women are treated as less valuable, since the male child gives a better reputation, gives a status in Montenegro. Consequently, women have been reduced in her reproductive function.

Davidović has carried out a study of socio-cognitive discourse (SDS), which is not limited to the influence of power structures. It's something between the journalists and the audience (cognitive interface). It has highlighted an analysis on emotion, words, opinions, the influence of journalists on the audience. She evaluates this type of interaction (media analysis). In addition, she has also conducted a quantitative content analysis, analyzing 247 news from print and online media in Montenegro. (the sample is from 2012 to 2019).

The results of this study indicate that the authority strategy that gives details of people with authority/power in Monetenegro is a passive approach. On the other hand, general statistical information falls addressing women. Nonetheless, direct support is a good example of how the media should behave: use opinions, metaphors, and emotional expressions. In this case, the purpose is not to deceive, it is to support the context and combat sex-selective abortion. Hence, to solve the problem. Davidović has also analyzed user comments and their speech strategies such as condemnation or marginalization/skepticism. Regarding the use of emotion words, some of the most used are, for example, 'uncivilized', 'shameful', 'abnormal', 'tribal', 'rude' (condemnation). In addition, she has also focused on metaphors such as "we need to escape from this jungle urgently."

Finally, Davidović concludes that media discourse is predominantly passive in Montenegro. SSA topics have little presence in the news. Opinions, emotions, words and metaphors were rarely proactive. Also, social cognition is established between those who produce media content and those who consume it.

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