Female podcasters. Image from unsplash


Stephanie Anne Brown

The International Encyclopedia of Gender, Media, and Communication (Editor: Karen Ross)


Less than two decades old, podcasting is a relatively new audio broadcasting technology associated both with the disruption and renewal of older forms of media and technology. This entry introduces the term podcast, its origin, and its multiple meanings before tracing its stages of technological development. Cultural meanings associated with podcasting are discussed, including the tension between liberating and conservative discourses, the form’s relationship to radio and other legacy media, and ideals of intimacy, personalization, seriality, and disruption. Next, the entry explores podcasting’s potential for activism and organizing, increasing marginalized representation, centering feminine vocal qualities, questioning masculine definitions of authority, advancing feminist storytelling techniques, building communities, and archiving marginalized histories before closing with a warning about the possibility of the institutionalization and professionalization of podcasting disrupting such potential.

First published: 08 July 2020


Photo by CoWomen on Unsplash