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Communicating feminist politics? The double-edged sword of using social media in a feminist organisation

Edwards, Lee ORCID: 0000-0001-6542-1234, Philip, Fiona and Gerrard, Ysabel (2020) Communicating feminist politics? The double-edged sword of using social media in a feminist organisation. Feminist Media Studies, 20 (5). 605 - 622. ISSN 1468-0777

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Identification Number: 10.1080/14680777.2019.1599036


Media coverage of violence against women and girls (VAWG) has increased in recent years, due to high-profile investigations such as the 2012 Jimmy Savile case in the UK, and in response to the #MeToo movement in the USA. Feminist organisations are likely to be asked for comment by the media as a result, but journalistic interest in case details rather than systemic causes of VAWG means that political messages focused on ending VAWG remain difficult to communicate. In contrast, social media is frequently celebrated as a channel through which the politics of feminist organisations can be promoted more directly, bypassing mainstream media agendas. In this article, we present the results of participatory research that explored the tensions inherent in social media use by one UK feminist organisation, Rape Crisis England & Wales (RCEW). The findings challenge the utopian view of social media as a panacea for news media shortcomings. Rather than being unequivocally positive, integrating social media into a feminist organisation’s communication work is a double-edged sword, bringing significant challenges that users must negotiate on a daily basis.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2019 13:06
Last Modified: 30 May 2024 03:00

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