Online Feminism

Mr. Michael Fibison
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The proposed research broadly asks how feminists are using the Internet for activism. What kind of communication is taking place on feminist websites; and how do commercial websites whose target audience is women and feminist websites represent news for women?

The purpose of this proposed research is to study social activism of Third Wave feminists and how news about women is being presented on the Internet. The proposed research will study the use and potential uses of the Internet in feminist organizing, social activism (protest), electronic activism, "consciousness raising" and public debate (access to the media or using the Internet to circumvent "mass media").

Three methods will be used: online ethnography, interviews and qualitative analysis of content. Five-10 feminists and 5-10 commercial website producers will be interviewed to provide in-depth data about the ways activists use the Internet for social activism and how men or women working for commercial websites targeting women view feminism and the news important for women. Two Third Wave feminist online groups will be studied using ethnography.

A qualitative analysis of content of news on feminist websites, Third Wave feminist websites and commercial websites targeting women will be conducted to identify how Third Wave feminists and commercial websites targeting women are using the Internet to present news. To compare these websites, headlines will be gathered during the three-month period of study.

The proposed research rests on theories of community, feminism and cultural studies, and draws on theories and methods from sociology and anthropology.

Keywords: Feminism, Social activism, Internet
Stream: Technology in Community
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Mr. Michael Fibison

PHD Student, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota

Michael Fibison is a graduate student at the University of Minnesota in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. In addition, Michael has been a pioneer in interactive media with Knight Ridder Digital. Michael led sales efforts at and worked in the Knight Ridder Digital corporate offices in San Jose, where he helped grow the Real Cities network. He currently works as associate director for new media at MORI, a Minneapolis-based market research and consultancy for new media companies and newspaper companies.

Ref: T05P0138