Masculinity as Political Strategy: George W. Bush, the 'War on Terrorism,' and an Echoing Press


Coe, Kevin, David Domke, Meredith Bagley, Sheryl Cunningham, and Nancy Van Leuven. 2007. "Masculinity as Political Strategy: George W. Bush, the 'War on Terrorism,' and an Echoing Press. Journal of Women, Politics and Policy 29 (1): 31-55. 

Authors: Kevin Coe, David Domke, Meredith Bagley, Sheryl Cunningham , Nancy Van Leuven


Scholars have demonstrated the centrality of masculinity as an ideology in the American presidency, but have devoted insufficient attention to the manner in which political leaders can emphasize masculine themes to gain strategic advantage, and how media organizations can be encouraged to adopt such themes in news coverage. With this in mind, in this research we analyze President George W. Bush's public communications prior to and immediately following the attacks of September 11, 2001, and NBC network television news coverage and New York Times and Washington Post editorials during the latter dates to elucidate the nature of masculinity as a political strategy. Findings indicate that in the aftermath of September 11 Bush enacted a highly masculine ideology through his treatment of the press and emphasis upon two masculine themes–strength and dominance–and that this approach facilitated wide circulation of his masculine discourse in the press.

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, "New Wars", Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Media, Governance, Terrorism Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2007

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