Minority Women and Western Media

To close out Women's History Month, this week's review looks at (mis)representations of minoritized women in mass media, and current challenges to that marginalization

Minority Women and Western Media: Challenging Representations and Articulating New Voices

ed. by Maha Bashri and Sameera Ahmed Rowman & Littlefield, 2020
150p bibl index, 9781498599856 $85.00, 9781498599863 $80.50

Book cover of Minority Women and Western Media: Challenging Representations and Articulating New Voices.

In this concise narrative, editors Bashri and Ahmed (both of United Arab Emirates Univ.) offer an invaluable perspective on the diversity of women’s voices and representations in Western mass media. The anthology comprises seven chapters that interrogate the legacies of colonialism using intersectional feminism to examine race, ethnicity, status, and ability. Each chapter frames the duality of women’s position as outsider to media’s framing of men as heroic, while the collection as a whole seeks to “disrupt the master narrative” by questioning false images and stereotypes to understand their pervasiveness across Western societies. Chapters 1 and 7 explore depictions of Muslim women in America and Great Britain within mainstream media outlets as a heterogenous group portrayed in static terms, which has prevented their inclusion and fostered “othering.” Further chapters interrogate presentations of minority women’s bodies from the perception of self and as “other,” notably Leticia Anderson and Kathomi Gatwiri’s “Getting Yassmined,” which analyzes the process by which two women were “minoritized,” or knocked down in status based on race. This accessible volume encourages valuable conversations on the interactions of race, gender, and the media.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through researchers and faculty.
E. K. Jackson, Colorado Mesa University
Subject: Humanities – Communication
Choice Issue: Jun 2021

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