Communication of Attitudes Towards Childless Women in Politics: A Content Analysis of Lithuanian News Site Comments

  • Margarita Gedvilaitė-Kordušienė
Keywords: communication, media, attitudes towards childlessness, childless women in politics, stereotypes, social representations theory, content analysis


Based on social representations theory, the paper focuses on the communication of attitudes towards childless women in politics in one of the Internet news sites. One article case was selected, and a qualitative content analysis of comments (365) was conducted. The article and the content of comments were on childless women in politics. The predominant hegemonic social representation is most commonly reflected via an argument that childless women lack practical experience; therefore, they could not represent the interests of families with children. The chosen method allows expressing more radical and aggressive attitudes towards childless women roles. The polemic social representation opposes hegemonic attitudes through the arguments breaking the interlink between female procreation role and their role in the public sphere, also through the critique of double standards. Finally, emancipatory social representation undertakes the neutral position, emphasising the freedom of choice. Thematic anchoring is the most common communicative mechanism in all three types of social representations.