Hybrid Format

Gender Inequality in the Screen Industry – Methodological Challenges of Data-Mining, Autocoding and the Social Network Approach

Elizabeth Prommer, Principal of the University of Rostock
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR), January 16, 2024

© Elizabeth Prommer

Prof. Dr. habil. Elizabeth Prommer, Principal of the University of Rostock,  will give a lecture within the Rostock Demographic Seminar Series on the subject of Gender Inequality in the Screen Industry. 

The event begins at 3:15 pm (CET) on January 16.


Gender equality and diversity are normative goals beyond a workplace equity issue, since inequality in production leads to unequal visibility of diversity on screen. This presentation suggests as social network approach enhanced with a qualitative and critical analysis to address the gender imbalance in the German film industry and better understand the underlying mechanisms. The application of the social network analysis shows how the gendering of the film production is created, and how women are structurally and systematically excluded from influential networks. The qualitative analysis gives insight into the construction of the production networks in the early career stages.

Using the film industry as an example, this paper will also take a detailed look at the method of automatic data mining (IMDB and Wikipedia) and automatic gender recognition and question whether this is an efficient and valid way of generating film and television industry data. The focus will be on asymmetrical approaches to the film industry, which will be examined using social network analysis, which requires a variety of data at different levels. The application example shows the advantages but also the limits of automatic data mining of big data and automatic coding in combination with a qualitative interpretation.

The evidence-based research into gender injustices and particularly in terms of mechanisms of exclusion in the film industry can be revealed by new forms of data analysis, such as social network analysis.

Keywords: Film Industry, Gender, Social Network Analysis, Gender Equity.

About the Speaker

Elizabeth Prommer is Rector of the University of Rostock, Germany and Professor for Communication and Media Studies. Several of her studies document the underrepresentation of women in the audiovisual media, in the creative teams and on screen. She conducted the field work for Cinema and Gender (2017); Television and Gender (2017) for the public broadcasters, as well as the Diversity Report 2016 for the German director’s guild and the onscreen study Audiovisual Diversity in 2017 and 2020. She leads the data collection and data analysis subtask of the EU-ORA Gender “Equity Policy (GEP) Analysis. Assessing, Understanding, and Modelling the Impact of Gender Equity Policies (GEP) in the Film Industry.”



Please register via this survey for online participation. The Zoom link will be sent to you afterwards. The event begins at 3:15 pm CET on January 16.

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Rostock Demographic Seminar Series   
Prof. Dr. Elizabeth Prommer on "Gender Inequality in the Screen Industry"

Date: January 16, 2024
Time: 3:15 pm (CET)

Please register via this survey to participate online. The Zoom link will then be sent to you.

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The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.