A Conceptual Mapping of the “Gender Pay Gap” within the Communicative Actions of the European Commission



The European Commission has long been considered the main communicator (Cini, 1996) of the EU, within the European public space. When it comes to communication, each Commission had a different perspective regarding the who, how and to whom elements, a trinom considered to be a rather similar challenge for almost all policy portfolios. This paper is part of a broader research on EU gender policy and the offline and online means of communication used especially for it. Dealing with strategic documents, policy documents and proposals, reports and Eurobarometers, and placing our research within the feld of international socio-political marketing, we have noticed that what was meant as a communication campaign at frst on a specifc policy chapter (in our case the gender pay gap), due to the embedding of the policy cycle stages within the communication processes, transformed into a communicative action (Habermas, 1984). In order to depict this transformation in the case of the gender pay gap (GPG) we set up as a starting point the conceptual mapping of GPG within the strategic documents of the European Commission, issued between 2006 and 2010. This mapping entailed the demarcation of conceptual nodes around which conceptual fows have emerged, having as data sources the strategic documents issued by the European Commission and the annual reports (2006-2010), and the depicting of the communication channels upon which the conceptual fows have emerged towards specifc target groups. In order to achieve this we used qualitative software for our analysis, QDA Miner, and one type of operation: text retrieval for a specifc code, using the Cosinus similiarity coefficient, for four types of codes, as identifed in the documents issued by the institutional communicator.

Keywords: communicative action, conceptual mapping, conceptual nodes, Cosinus coefficient, gender pay gap