Feminists have long recognized the significance of the media as a site for the expression of - or challenges to - existing constructions of gender. In this broad-ranging analysis, Liesbet van Zoonen explores the ways in which feminist theory and research contribute to the fuller understanding of the multiple roles of the media in the construction of gender in contemporary societies. The text initially outlines some major themes in feminist media studies and the ways in which they offer specific models for understanding the media. The author goes on to examine the key questions posed by a gendered approach within communication and cultural studies. Issues explored include: theories of transmission, representation, construction and discourse; the structures of media organization and production; the analysis of media representations through content analysis and semiotics; the contradictions of the gendered image as spectacle; new approaches to understanding the audience and the politics of media reception; and the potential of feminist and interpretive research strategies.