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Talking back on Twitter and blogs: emerging forms of consciousness raising in the 21st century




Dudney, Anna M., author
Griffin, Cindy, advisor
Bone, Jen, committee member
Souza, Caridad, committee member

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This thesis examines the emerging communicative spaces of new media and their utility in fostering consciousness raising in the modern women's movement. Through this study, I answer the following questions: How does the Internet provide a new communicative space for consciousness raising in the modern women's movement and how can it help members ignite change? What is the communicative value and significance of new media in this context? The new media artifacts I examine include two Twitter campaigns, entitled #NotBuyingIt and #SmartBlackWomenofTwitter, and two blog sites, Feministe's "Shameless Self-Promotion Sunday" and The Feminist Wire's "The Personal is Political." Following a literature review in which I cover scholarship in social movements, the women's movement, and new media, I analyze the artifacts using a close-textual and inductive analysis to identify emerging themes. I engage other communication studies theory, including critical feminist and narrative theory, the Theory of Motivated Information Management, and bell hooks' notion of talking back, among other material. Ultimately, I determine that consciousness raising is enacted in these online spaces by women of multiple identities using an array of techniques. Additionally, new media is sufficiently equipped to foster a connection among participants that leads to click moments of understanding that in some cases promote feminist activism. This activism can in turn lead to tangible change to meet goals of the women's movement, including justice for people of subordinated identities.


2014 Summer.
Includes bibliographical references.

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consciousness raising
new media
women's movement


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