Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Muted Groups and Public Discourse: The Web of Sexual Violence and Social Media
by Paul Baer, April, Ed.D., Frostburg State University, 2017, 152; 10686048
Abstract (Summary)

Formative research cite nearly 20% of women and 6% of men will experience attempted or completed sexual assault while enrolled in college (Ali, 2011; Koss, 1988/1989; Krebs, Lindquist, Warner, Fisher, & Martin, 2007). Largely, narratives of college sexual violence are hidden, as reports to college administrators and law enforcement agencies are low and stigma surrounding such crimes often place fault upon survivors (Carrington Wooten & Mitchell, 2016; Fisher, Diagle, & Cullen, 2010). However, stories of college sexual violence have become trending topics via social media outlets (Gringberg, 2014; Kingkade, 2013; Rennison & Addington, 2014). This research study investigates the use of social media by sexual violence survivors. Through rhetorical analysis, public tweets associated with #CarryThatWeight, #IStandWithJackie, and #SurvivingCostMe are analyzed. Data reveal that Millennial college students, referred to as digital natives, use social media to raise awareness and promote hashtivism, shorthand for “online activism” (Blay, 2016; Burkhalter, n.d.; Dookhoo, 2015). However, while seeking to challenge rape culture, these narratives are also open to public speculation and criticism, by lay persons, media outlets, and internet trolls (Phillips, 2015). Hashtivism through computer-mediated communication (CMC) allows survivors to forge communities, provide support, and share strategies as to how to file federal formal complaints while also navigating public shaming, online harassment, and doxxing (Blay, 2016; Boux & Daum, 2015; Boyd, 2008; Dookhoo, 2015; Java, Song, Finin, Tseng, 2009; Parkin, 2016; Ziering & Dick, 2015; Walther, 2011).

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Voorhees, Courte C. W.
Commitee: Caputo, Emily J., Morris, Jill A.
School: Frostburg State University
Department: Educational Professions
School Location: United States -- Maryland
Source: DAI-A 79/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, Womens studies, Communication, Web Studies
Keywords: College rape, Hashtag, Hashtivism, Sexual violence, Social media
Publication Number: 10686048
ISBN: 978-0-355-54734-4
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