Networked Publics, Networked Politics: Resisting Gender-Based Violent Speech in Digital Media
Novoselova, Veronika Anatolyevna
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This dissertation is a qualitative study of digital media that identifies and analyzes feminist responses to violent speech in networked environments across Canada and the United States between 2011 and 2015. Exploring how verbal violence is constitutive of and constituted by power relations in the feminist blogosphere, I ask the following set of research questions: How do feminist bloggers politicize and problematize instances of violent speech on digital media? In what ways are their networked interactions and self-representations reconfigured as a result of having to face hostile audiences? What modes of agency appear within feminist blogging cultures? This work engages with feminist theory (hooks, 2014; McRobbie, 2009; Stringer 2014), media studies (boyd, 2014; Lovink, 2011; Marwick 2013) and their intersections in the field of feminist media studies (Jane 2014; Keller, 2012). Drawing on interviews with the key players in the feminist blogosphere and providing a discursive reading of selected digital texts, I identify networked resistive strategies including digital archiving, public shaming, strategic silence and institutional transformations. I argue that feminist responses to violent speech are varied and reflect not only long-standing concerns with community building and womens voices in public context, but also emerging anxieties around self-branding, professional identity and a control over one's digital presence. This research underscores the importance of transformative capacities of networked feminist politics and contextualizes agentic modes of participation in response to problematic communication.