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Chronicle of a death foretold: The enactment of patriarchy and class in print newspaper readership

Posted on 2021-01-28 - 01:08

This research examines the role of gender and class inequalities in the experience of reading print newspapers. We draw on data from two complementary sources: a survey of news, technology and entertainment consumption (n = 700) administered in the greater Buenos Aires area, and 158 semi-structured interviews conducted in the City of Buenos Aires and other towns in Argentina. Our findings indicate that although news consumption in general appears to be evenly distributed, with no significant gaps according to age, gender, education and socioeconomic status, print newspaper consumption seems to be the preserve of older, more affluent, mostly male audiences in ways that reinforce patriarchal family patterns – it is usually husbands and fathers who decide for the entire household which newspaper is purchased and when that takes place. In addition, newspaper reading is carried on by those at the top of the income-earning pyramid, and reinforces class status mainly due to the persistent associations between newspaper readership, civic duty, and professional prestige. We conclude by reflecting on the implications of these trends for print newspapers and their role in society.

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