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      “Oh, She’s a Tumblr Feminist”: Exploring the Platform Vernacular of Girls’ Social Media Feminisms

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      Social Media + Society
      SAGE Publications

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          Abstract

          As avid social media users, it is perhaps unsurprising that feminist teenage girls use their favorite platforms to engage in various forms of feminist activism. Yet, existing research has not explored how a growing number of social media platforms and their technological affordances uniquely shape how girls engage in online activism. I address this oversight by asking the following: Why are girls using particular platforms for feminist activism? How do certain platforms facilitate distinctive opportunities for youth engagement with feminist politics? and How might this shape the types of feminist issues and politics both made possible and foreclosed by some social media platforms? To answer these questions, I draw on ethnographic data gathered from a group of American, Canadian, and British teenage girls involved in various forms of online feminist activism on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. These data were collected as part of two UK-based team research projects. Using the concept of “platform vernacular,” I analyze how these girls do feminism across these different platforms, based on discursive textual analysis of their social media postings and interview reflections. I argue that teenage girls strategically choose how to engage with feminist politics online, carefully weighing issues like privacy, community, and peer support as determining factors in which platform they choose to engage. These decisions are often related to distinctive platform vernaculars, in which the girls have a keen understanding. Nonetheless, these strategic choices shape the kinds of feminisms we see across various social media platforms, a result that necessitates some attention and critical reflection from social media scholars.

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          Most cited references3

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          The gender binary will not be deprogrammed: Ten years of coding gender on Facebook

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            The traffic in feminism: an introduction to the commentary and criticism on popular feminism

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              A Networked Self: Identity, Community, and Culture on Social Network Sites

              (2024)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Social Media + Society
                Social Media + Society
                SAGE Publications
                2056-3051
                2056-3051
                August 14 2019
                July 2019
                August 14 2019
                July 2019
                : 5
                : 3
                : 205630511986744
                Affiliations
                [1 ]University of Calgary, Canada
                Article
                10.1177/2056305119867442
                34170612-97d2-450f-9cad-57d09668d79e
                © 2019

                http://journals.sagepub.com/page/policies/text-and-data-mining-license

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