Media & Communication Department
B.A., Muhlenberg College
M.A., University of Delaware
Ph.D., Temple University
Susan Kahlenberg has been a member of the faculty at Muhlenberg College since 1998. Her research focuses on the relationships among media institutions, images, and effects. Using content analysis methodology, she explores how media messages are produced, the types of images that are represented in the media, and the impact of these messages. She examines characterizations on fictionally based television programming and daytime TV commercials, to deduce the extent that gender-role stereotypes may serve to sustain the social order.
Her current research projects investigate gender and brand identity in toy commercials airing on the Nickelodeon cable network. Other areas of her published research examine the distribution of intelligence and occupation among TV characters airing on prime-time TV, as well as across such indices as gender, race, social class, marriage, sexuality, and attractiveness. She has also studied the salience of designing health messages from social justice and public health orientations. She has published her research in peer review journals such as Sex Roles and The Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, as well as book chapters in edited anthologies.
Susan addresses her interests in media images and effects, youth media culture, gender and communication, and health communication in courses such as Gender, Communication, and Culture, Children and Communication, Health Communication, Media and Society, Media Theory and Methods, Mass Persuasion and Propaganda, and Issues of Public Health. Her teaching supports the Public Health and Women’s Studies interdisciplinary minor programs, and the RJ Fellows Honors Program.