I was recently contacted by a journalist from a major news outlet about a story on why women who play video games shun the ‘gamer’ label.
He simply asked me one question: my reaction to this phenomenon. I provided several paragraphs worth of information including citations from scholars who have conducted research on this very topic. Much of what we know about the constructed label of gamer and why women shun the designation of ‘gamer’ came from the research conducted by Adrienne Shaw (and I told him that).
Everything I cited and forwarded to him essentially was her work. Yet in this high profile news outlet and story, she was not mentioned once.
Maybe there is some kind of disconnect between academics and journalists. We write differently. We research differently. We disseminate knowledge differently. But there should be more incorporation and inclusion of the research that academics do (and that public bloggers and writers always use). We are more than our abstracts!
This also has me thinking about male privilege inherent in citing practices in academia. I recently attended a conference and I heard a story of a woman whose work was not cited because a man had conducted the same research and reached similar conclusions. The woman informed the person that her work was in fact performed way before her male counterpart and that he, in fact, should have cited her.
While I hope cases like this are rare, this example highlights the constant struggle of women in academia having their work acknowledged as valid contributions to the literature and field.
As academics, we must end the practice of only privileging certain voices while marginalizing others. This is a call to action to make women’s work visible in academia. Using the hashtag #CiteHerWork, recognize and acknowledge your own work or someone else’s work who is seminal to any given discipline and field.
Shaw, A. (2012). “Do You Identify as a Gamer?: Gender, race, sexuality, and gamer identity.” New Media and Society 14(1): 25-41. DOI: 10.1177/1461444811410394