Deconstructing the Portrayals of Haitian Women in the Media: A Thematic Analysis of Images in the Associated Press Photo Archive

María José Rendón, Guerda Nicolas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Haitian women constitute a group that is lauded within Haiti as the "pillar of society" and yet is also often silenced both within Haiti and abroad. Given the role of the media in shaping attitudes and behaviors toward Women of Color, evaluation of media portrayals is critical to challenge oppressive discourses about these groups. Therefore, in this study, the authors conducted a thematic analysis of 650 photographs of Haitian women in the Associated Press Photo Archive in the years 1994-2009. The analysis comprised a two-step process: First, the authors identified coding categories through an inductive analysis of the data; later, these categories were analyzed from a feminist poststructuralist framework to generate themes that could describe how Haitian women are positioned in relation to media consumers. The three themes generated-"Negotiating Power and Resistance," "Enacting Haitian Culture," and "Showcasing Affliction"-delineate the media's tendency to emphasize the "otherness" in Haitian women, as well as to characterize this group as victims in need of rescuing by powerful others. The authors conclude by emphasizing the impact of these images on the identity of Haitian women and Women of Color, as well as on the attitudes and behaviors of media consumers toward these groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-239
Number of pages13
JournalPsychology of Women Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • communications media
  • content analysis
  • feminism
  • portrayals
  • poststructuralism
  • racial and ethnic groups
  • women of color

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Gender Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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