Elisa Giomi (Roma Tre University)
Elisa Giomi is Associate Professor in the field of Sociology of Cultural and Communication processes (SPS/08) at the Department of Philosophy, Communication and Visual Arts, Roma Tre University. She teaches Advertising, Gender and Media, and Sociology of Communication and of the Media. She has directed several national and international research projects in the field of women and the media; she is member of the editorial board of “AG-AboutGender. International Journal of Gender Studies”. Her latest publications include E. Giomi, Gender e Media, Pigreco, Roma, 2015; E. Giomi, S. Magaraggia, Relazioni brutali. La violenza degli uomini e delle donne nella cultura mediale, Il Mulino, Bologna, forthcoming; E. Giomi, ‘Really Good at it’: The viral charge of Nancy Botwin (and popular culture’s anticorps), in M. Buonanno (ed.), Women Behaving Badly. Anti-heroines in Crime and Prison Drama, Intellect Books, Bristol, UK (forthcoming).
The “implicit man”. Models of masculinity in media representations of gender violence
This contribution aims to explore media representations of men and masculinities by examining media depictions of gender violence. Media stories and images act as symbolic resources that individuals use in the process whereby they develop their gender identity and learn how to relate to other individuals, both of the same and of the opposite sex. Yet media representations can also act as “prescriptions”, by promoting normative constructions of masculinity and femininity that are likely to reinforce gender stereotypes and inequalities. Some media texts diffuse gender identity models in very direct and easily intelligible ways; others do so in more indirect, covered ways. This is precisely what happens in many media texts, either fictional and factual, portraying male violence against women: the discoursive processes through which authors of violence are either deresponsibilized/justified or blamed/stigmatized for their aggressions draw on and at the same time reproduce precise, though rarely explicit, gender assumptions. The case studies that will be referred to include popular movies such as those from the Twilight saga (2008-2011); TV crime series (The Stalker, 2014; The Fall, 2014-present); news items covering IPV (Intimate Partner Violence) incidents. The research questions that will be explored are the following: which is the relation between men and violence that emerges from these representations? Which desires, which private and public roles, and attitudes towards women are attributed to the men who perpetrate violence? How are their sexuality and emotions supposed to function? How do these representations relate to dominant constructions of masculinity?