Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Angela Rayner (Member of Parliament) and the “B...


Text available via DOI:

View graph of relations

Angela Rayner (Member of Parliament) and the “Basic Instinct Ploy”: Intersectional misrecognition of women leaders' legitimacy, productive resistance and flexing (patriarchal) discourse

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/01/2024
<mark>Journal</mark>Gender, Work and Organization
Issue number1
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)152-170
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date26/08/23
<mark>Original language</mark>English


AbstractThis paper interrogates a shift in patriarchal media discourse related to women leaders' recognition and legitimation in the UK. We conduct a multimodal discourse analysis of an online newspaper article about the UK politician and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Angela Rayner, and analyzed public responses. Understanding the media as a means to distribute power and enable the challenging of norms, we contribute a theory of intersectional misrecognition in media's representation of women political leaders. This reveals an enduring and dynamic subordinate status of women leaders, shown specifically through the intersection of gender and class. We theorize that while women leaders continue to be misrecognized in the media, destabilizing their legitimacy, there is a demonstrable flexing of patriarchal discourse combined with stronger and accelerated resistance to ongoing sexism. We identify this resistance as productive in its call for consequences and a redistribution of cultural values, reflecting a discursive shift toward a productive resistance of resilient gender norms, evident in the intersection of gender with class. Intersectional misrecognition has value in making inequalities explicit for women leaders and where there may be productive tensions with potential to mobilize for change.