Networked Feminism in the Digital Field: A Case Study of Reddit’s r/TwoXChromosomes

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Mowle, Amy ORCID: 0000-0002-0272-9044 (2021) Networked Feminism in the Digital Field: A Case Study of Reddit’s r/TwoXChromosomes. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


Contemporary feminism is playing out in increasingly digitised ways as women utilise the Internet and social media to discuss, disseminate and debate key feminist ideas in women-centred dedicated spaces. The speed and scope of digital communications technologies has allowed for the mobilisation of individuals around issues of gender inequality on a global scale while simultaneously launching feminism into the cultural zeitgeist. The rapid pace of technological advancement, the seemingly endless integration of the Internet into our everyday lives, and the corporate colonisation of the digital sphere are all changing the ways in which people understand and interact with feminist thought. As such, the impact of the digital environment on the aims and ideologies of contemporary ‘networked’ feminist communities, and the politics of participation in networked social movements in general, require close scholarly interrogation. Using a case study approach, this research draws from the theoretical toolkit of Pierre Bourdieu in order to analyse the shape and nature of the largest networked feminist community on the social news website Reddit: r/TwoXChromosomes. Comment data collected directly from the 15 popular threads selected for analysis was enriched by moderation and administration guidelines framing the community and Reddit more broadly, providing a rich and multifaceted dataset on which a reflexive thematic content analysis was conducted. This study aims to contribute to understanding the challenges and advantages women face as they organise around feminist issues in the online spaces that are governed primarily by the motivation to accumulate profit. It reveals a number of critical tensions at the foundation of r/TwoXChromosomes as a contemporary networked feminist community.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4405 Gender studies
Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4410 Sociology
Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4701 Communication and media studies
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities
Keywords feminism, digital communications technologies, gender inequality, case study, Pierre Bourdieu, social news website, Reddit, women, online communities, networked feminism, social media platforms
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