NCA Inside & Out

New Research in Communication

New Research in Communication

May 25, 2016

“Occupational Branding for Diversity: Managing Discursive Contradictions,” in Journal of Applied Communication Research, published online March 2016, by James McDonald and Timothy R. Kuhn. 

This case study examines an occupational branding campaign that seeks to encourage more women to enter the IT field. The researchers analyze the contradictions between the ways in which the campaign represents IT work and the ways in which practitioners represent the work. The authors show that whereas the official branding discourse represents computing and IT as a field where women are valued, unofficial branding discourse represents this field as hostile to women. The authors also suggest ways to manage such contradictions. 

“Hacking Xena: Technological Innovation and Queer Influence in the Production of Mainstream Television,” in Critical Studies in Media Communication, published online April 2016, by Elena Maris. 

This article presents a historical analysis of a period in the 1990s in which television show fans’ online conversations allowed for significant queer influence on mainstream televisual narratives. Maris argues that the technological affordances of the internet enabled lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer groups to communicate their desire for queer(ed) content directly to the television show production teams, leading to queer “hacks” of mainstream entertainment. Maris explores this idea through the case of Xena: Warrior Princess, a syndicated TV series that aired from 1995 to 2001.   

“Networked Communication and the Reprise of Tolerance Theory: Civic Education for Extreme Speech and Private Governance Online,” in First Amendment Studies, published online March 2016, by Brett G. Johnson.  

Digital intermediaries such as Facebook and Twitter have the power to remove extreme or harmful speech from their platforms after individual users have “flagged” that speech. Such power over public discourse in the hands of Facebook and Twitter representatives raises concerns regarding online freedom of expression. This article asks how First Amendment principles can be applied to assess this system of private governance of extreme speech.