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A Global Hypothesis for Women in Journalism and Mass Communications: The Ratio of Recurrent and Reinforced Residuum

By R.R. Rush, C.E. Oukrop and K. Sarikakis


This paper examines the status of women in communications industries and on university faculties. It specifically tests the Ratio of Recurrent and Reinforced Residuum or R3 hypothesis, as developed by Rush in the early 1980s [Rush, Buck & Ogan,1982]. The R3 hypothesis predicts that the percentage of women in the communications industries and on university faculties will follow the ratio residing around 1/4:3/4 or 1/3:2/3 proportion females to males. This paper presents data from a nationwide U.S. survey and compares them to data from global surveys and United Nations reports. The evidence is overwhelming and shows the relevance and validity of the R3 hypothesis across different socio-economic and cultural contexts. The paper argues that the ratio is the outcome of systemic discrimination that operates at multiple levels. The obstacles to achieving equality in the academy as well as media industries are discussed and suggestions for breaking out of the R3 ratio are included.\ud

Year: 2005
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