Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Sociology & Criminal Justice


Applied Sociology

Committee Director

Jennifer N. Fish

Committee Member

Ingrid Whitaker

Committee Member

Randy Gainey


Violence against women is a worldwide phenomenon, and while brutal crimes shock us, it is nothing exceptional. This social construction of violence against women is displayed through the media's language. The language then portrays structures of power dynamics, fueling patriarchal discourse, where masculinity becomes the king, and femininity denigrated, birthing a rape culture. This study explores the impact of media reporting of gang rape cases of women in India and investigates the media reporting of nine different gang rape cases, post 2012 Delhi gangrape.

The research looks to identify the media semantics used in portraying the victims in the print media. This qualitative study follows content analysis as its method of research to examine the relationship between the gang rape cases, and the type of information published in the newspaper articles. The study uses framing analysis and intersectionality framework and finds that the Indian media’s treatment towards reporting of gang rape differs significantly along with the socio-economic status of the victims. Results show that lower the victim in the social hierarchy of stratification, class and caste, lesser the positive media coverage, and higher the victim blaming and doubting language.


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