One Step Forward …

Gender, communication and the fragility of gender(ed) political progress

Authored by: Michele L. Hammers , Nina M. Lozano , Craig O. Rich

The Routledge Handbook of Gender and Communication

Print publication date:  November  2020
Online publication date:  November  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138329188
eBook ISBN: 9780429448317
Adobe ISBN:


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Gender(ed) identity and expression continue to play dominant roles in United States' national as well as international political (in) action. This chapter draws upon insights from public sphere and media studies, organizational communication, and critical-cultural studies to explore ways in which gender(ed) and sex(ed) identities have been more broadly included in social discourse and legal protections. However, under the Trump administration, there have been numerous legal rollbacks of these same rights. Additionally, professional and public spheres continue to be constrained by regressive cultural constructions of sex, gender, and sexual orientation, as well as restrictive articulations of the potential intersections among them. Ultimately, we contend that future social change depends upon increased emphasis on the broader potentialities of gender(ed) identities and that substantial, lasting legal change toward increased protections and inclusion must be driven by theoretical and political practices informed by social change from below.

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