Media Representations of Race, Ability, and Gender in Three Outdoor Magazines: A Content Analysis of Photographic Images


  • R. Lee Frazer Fort Lewis College
  • Kelsey Anderson



advertising, diversity, media effects, media stereotypes, outdoor magazines, outdoor recreation


Research exploring the ways that media influences individuals and society includes investigations of all forms of news and entertainment mass media, including film, radio, television, newspapers, websites, books, video games, music, and magazines (World Bank, 2010). Numerous studies have explored, in particular, the negative effects of mass media on the psychosocial development of children and adults (Bryant & Oliver, 2009), including the formation of stereotypes and other misperceptions about race, gender, and ability (Common Sense Media, 2017; Mares & Kretz, 2015). Evidence also suggests media, particularly advertising, may reinforce unexamined, particularly racialized, assumptions about the demographics of outdoor recreation participation in the United States (Martin, 2004).

Subscribe to JOREL


Bryant, J. & Oliver, M. B. (2009). Media effects: Advances in theory and research. New York: Routledge.

Billings, A. C. (Ed.). (2011). Sports media: Transformation, integration, consumption. New York: Routledge.

Common Sense Media. (2017). Watching gender: How stereotypes in movies and TV impact kids' development. San Francisco, CA: Common Sense Media.

Fuller, L. K. (Ed.). (2006). Sports, rhetoric, and gender: Historical perspectives and media representations. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Gall, M. D., Gall, J. P., & W. R. Borg. (2003). Educational research: An introduction. Boston: Pearson.

Mares, M. & Kretz, V. (2015). Media effects on children. In J. D. Wright (Ed.), International encyclopedia of the social and behavioral sciences (2nd ed.) (Vol. 14, pp. 35-41). New York: Elsevier.

Martin, D. C. (2004). Apartheid in the great outdoors: American advertising and the reproduction of a racialized outdoor leisure identity. Journal of Leisure Research, 36(4), 513-535. DOI:

McNeil, J., Harris, D., & Fondren, K. (2012). Women and the wild: Gender socialization in wilderness recreation advertising. Gender Issues, 29, 39-55. DOI:

Outdoor Foundation. (2014). Outdoor participation report. Retrieved July 5, 2016, from

World Bank. (2010). Media effects (English). Communication for Governance and Accountability Program (CommGAP). Washington, DC: World Bank.






AORE Research Symposium Abstracts