We Strike, Therefore We Are? A Twitter Analysis of Feminist Identity in the Context of #DayWithoutAWoman
Keywords:collective identity, contemporary feminism, social movement, Twitter analysis, critical discourse analysis, U.S. presidential elections
In this article, we explore the collective identity of feminist activists as expressed on Twitter in the context of "Day Without A Woman." We conceptualize collective feminist identity by drawing upon literature on identity, feminism, and social movements. We expected to find a politically-defined group boundary around supporters of "Day Without A Woman." Using the online tool Netlytic, we collected tweets posted from accounts in Washington D.C., New York City, and Los Angeles. In a preliminary step, we performed a word count analysis and coded frequent words within the collected tweets into categories of meaning. Based on these categories, we drew a sub-sample of tweets, which we scrutinized in-depth using discourse analysis. Through this qualitative analysis, we show that the group boundary of the supporters of "Day Without A Woman" is defined by the common denominator of their negative relation to Donald TRUMP. While the supporters stress the relevance of feminist claims, barriers to identifying as a feminist seem to persist, as reflected in those whom we call "flexi-feminists." The boundary between supporters and non-supporters of "Day Without A Woman" hence seems to broaden from a line to a space which can be occupied without complete group entry. In this space and beyond, supporters express feminist identity through an "us" versus "him" logic.
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Copyright (c) 2019 Lillan Sally Lommel, Margrit Schreier, Jakob Fruchtmann
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.