Year of Graduation

2014

Directing Professor

Jeanette Barbieri

Abstract

The Delhi Gang Rape (DGR) of 2012 riveted the world. Beyond the details of this disturbing crime, American media systems went on to perpetuate problematic discourse regarding "Indian culture" in the aftermath of the DGR. Specifically, American media coverage of the incident exemplified rape myths, demonized the Global South and distanced the Global North public from existent rape culture in the U.S.. Utilizing qualitative research methods, including feminist critical discourse analysis, I analyze multiple American news media portrayals of the DGR, from Dec. 16th, 2012, the night of the incident, to January 31st, 2013, a time span that includes coverage of the emerging details of the DGR, and subsequent protests in South Asia. Coverage of the DGR emphasized traditional notions of a victimized Global South woman, while a failure to identify parallel American rape culture reinforced the perception that the West is the dominant force in protecting women of color from their male counterparts. I argue that United States news media sensationalized the DGR, simultaneously magnifying Global South rape culture while minimizing parallel American rape culture.

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