An Analysis of Diversity in Nonhuman Animal Rights Media
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Lack of diversity in the ranks as well as a failure to resonate with disadvantaged groups and other anti-oppression movements has been cited as one important barrier to the American Nonhuman Animal rights movement’s success (Kymlicka and Donaldson in Animal rights, multiculturalism and the Left. The Mellon Sawyer Seminar at the Graduate Center, CUNY. City University of New York, New York, 2013). It is possible that social movements are actively inhibiting diversity in the ranks and audience by producing literature that reflects a narrow activist identity. This article creates a platform from which these larger issues can be explored by investigating the actual demographic representations present in a small sample of popular media sources produced by the movement for other animals. A content analysis of 131 magazine covers produced by two highly visible movement actors, PETA and VegNews, was conducted to demonstrate that activist representations in at least some dominant American Nonhuman Animal rights media are mostly white, female, and thin.
KeywordsGender Race Social movements Media Animal rights
This paper is part of a larger project conducted with my colleague Megan Lutz of Georgia Tech, who offered important suggestions and assistance with statistical analysis. A version of this paper was presented at the American Sociological Association’s 2014 annual conference.
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