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Tweeting about women: A critical discourse analysis of International Women’s Day on Twitter

Gray, Daniel 2019. Tweeting about women: A critical discourse analysis of International Women’s Day on Twitter. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis is a work of critical digital sociology, investigating discourse which occurred on International Women’s Day 2017 (IWD2017) on Twitter, a widely used social media network, using innovative methodology. The principle finding presented in this thesis is methodological. I demonstrate that it is possible and productive to bring together qualitative analysis and so-called ‘big data’, specifically a large quantity of tweets, via innovative and original methodology, while preserving the unique and valuable affordances of critical, qualitative, theory-informed analysis. Alongside demonstrating this, I also present a range of analytic findings related to the discourse I have analysed. The analytic findings include the use of popular and ‘fringe’ hashtags in linking mainstream and right-wing/reactionary topics, the prominence of anti-feminism and anti-Islam sentiment in discourse associated with supporters of US president Donald Trump, the antifeminist discursive splitting of feminism and feminists into benign and maligned categories, and the ways women are constructed by Twitter accounts representing police and armed forces. Methodologically, this thesis provides a detailed account of the practicalities, challenges and strategies involved in approaching big social media data as a critical researcher using qualitative analysis. In doing so I argue that big social media data may be a fruitful area for qualitative work, but that in approaching it we should not discard our previous theoretical, analytical and ethical frameworks.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 19 January 2021
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2021 01:34

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