Matching Items (6)

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Making space for women's history: the digital-material rhetoric of the National Women's History (cyber)Museum

Description

The struggle of the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) to make space for women’s history in the United States is in important ways emblematic of the struggle for recognition and

The struggle of the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) to make space for women’s history in the United States is in important ways emblematic of the struggle for recognition and status of American women as a whole. Working at the intersections of digital-material memory production and using the NWHM as a focus, this dissertation examines the significance of the varied strategies used by and contexts among which the NWHM and entities like it negotiate for digital, material, and rhetorical space within U.S. public memory production. As a “cybermuseum,” the NWHM functions within national public memory production at the intersections of material and digital culture; yet as an activist institution in search of a permanent, physical “home” for women’s history, the NWHM also counterproductively reifies existing gendered norms that make such an achievement difficult. By examining selected aspects of this complexly situated entity, this dissertation makes visible the gendered nature of public memory production, the digital and material components of that production, and the hybrid nature of emerging public memory entities which operate simultaneously in multiple spheres. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach and guided by Carole Blair’s work on rhetorical materiality, this dissertation explores key aspects of the NWHM’s process of becoming, including an examination of the centrality of the interpellation of publics to the rhetorical materiality of public discourse; an analysis of the material state of public memory production in national history museums in the U.S.; and an exploration of the embodied engagement that undergirds all interaction with and presentation of historical artifacts and narratives, whether digital, physical or both at once. In a synthesis of findings, this dissertation describes a set of key characteristics through which certain hybrid digital-material entities (including the NWHM) enact increasingly complex variations of rhetorical agency. These characteristics suggest a need for a more flexible analytic framework, described in the final chapter. This framework takes shape as an heuristic of functions across which digital-material entities always already enact a situated, active, embodied, and simultaneous agency, one that can account fully for the rhetorical processes through which space is “made” for women in U.S. public memory.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Females' perspectives on emergence to adulthood: the role of information communication technologies

Description

Young women ages 18-29 are the highest users of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the United States. As a group, they curate and create more online content than any other

Young women ages 18-29 are the highest users of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the United States. As a group, they curate and create more online content than any other adult user group (Duggan, 2014). Throughout the research literature, scholars claim that the high rate of technology use among young people is related to their developmental stage (boyd, 2014; Kuper & Mustaki, 2014; Subrahmanyam & Greenfield, 2008; Turkle, 2010). The primary developmental tasks of young adults include forming an adult identity, and sustaining intimate relationships. Developmental psychologists and sociologist hypothesize that ICT’s influence developmental trajectories and outcomes (Jensen & Arnett, 2012). Given the breadth of discussion in the literature about development, and ICT use, there is relatively little research focusing on how young women interpret and internalize these experiences. The primary purpose of this study was to understand the interaction between young adults frequent online use and developmental tasks — identity formation and intimate relationships.

Interviews were conducted with young women (18-29) who qualified as high users (N=22). Participants’ were interviewed twice; the initial interview used a structured schedule, providing uniformity across participants. The second interview was an informal conversation personalized to the participant’s’ interests, experiences, and opinions about the topic. Participants were recruited from across the country, and the diversity in the sample mirrors the heterogeneous nature of the emerging adult population. Two forms of qualitative analysis were used, open thematic coding and narrative analysis.

Findings demonstrated the shift of the networked culture creates a highly individualized life trajectory for young people. Identity and intimacy are still the salient developmental tasks for young adults, but continue evolve throughout the life course. . Narrative analyses were used to show strengths of the critical realism theory, especially the reflexive modes, by using case examples. Lastly, the role of ICT are discussed using four primary themes— augmented relationships, disruptive networks, defining moments, and driven agency. Ultimately, this research study helps provide evidence that online spaces are relational and the interactions a part of sociality. For social workers ability to understand development experiences and other facets of social life, further research is needed.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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From sewing circles to linky parties: women's sewing practices in the digital age

Description

For the past few decades, feminist researchers have worked tirelessly to recover the history of American women’s sewing – both the artifacts made and the processes, practices, and identities linked

For the past few decades, feminist researchers have worked tirelessly to recover the history of American women’s sewing – both the artifacts made and the processes, practices, and identities linked to the objects produced. With the transition to the digital age, women are still sewing, but they are inventing, making, and distributing sewn objects using platforms and pathways online to share knowledge, showcase their handicrafts, and sell their wares. This dissertation examines contemporary sewing and asks how digital practices are extending and transforming the history of women’s sewing in America. I place my findings against the backdrop of women’s history by recounting how and why women sewed in previous eras. This dissertation demonstrates how past sewing practices are being repeated, remixed, and reimagined as women meet to sew, socialize, and collaborate on the web.

The overall approach to this project is ethnographic in nature, in that I collected data by participating alongside my female subjects in the online settings they frequent to read about, write about, and discuss sewing, including blogs, email, and various social media sites. From these interactions, I provide case studies that illuminate my findings on how women share sewing knowledge and products in digital spaces. Specifically, I look at how women are using digital tools to learn and teach sewing, to sew for activist purposes, and to pursue entrepreneurship. My findings show that sewing continues to be a highly social activity for women, although collaboration and socializing often happen from geographically distanced locations and are enabled by online communication. Seamstresses wanting to provide sewing instruction are able to archive their knowledge electronically and disperse it widely, and those learning to sew can access this knowledge by navigating paths through a plethora of digital resources. Activists are able to recruit more widely when seeking participants for their causes and can send handmade goods to people in need around the globe. Although gender biases continue to plague working women, the internet provides new opportunities for female entrepreneurship and allows women to profit from their sewing skills.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Attack of the fake geek girls: challenging gendered harassment and marginalization in online spaces

Description

Attack of the Fake Geek Girls: Challenging Gendered Harassment and Marginalization in Online Spaces applies feminist, gender, and rhetorical theories and methods, along with critical discourse analysis, to case studies

Attack of the Fake Geek Girls: Challenging Gendered Harassment and Marginalization in Online Spaces applies feminist, gender, and rhetorical theories and methods, along with critical discourse analysis, to case studies of the popular online social media platforms of Jezebel, Pinterest, and Facebook. This project makes visible the structural inequities that underpin the design and development of internet technologies, as well as commonplace assumptions about who is an online user, who is an active maker of internet technologies, and who is a passive consumer of internet technologies. Applying these critical lenses to these inequities and assumptions enables a re-seeing of commonplace understandings of the relationship between gender performativity and digital cultures and practices. Together, these lenses provide a useful set of tools for methodically resisting the mystique of technologies that are, simultaneously, represented as so highly technical as to be opaque to scrutiny, and as ubiquitous to everyday life as to be beneath critical examination.

Through a close reading of the discourses surrounding these popular social media platforms and a rhetorical analysis of their technological affordances, I documented the transference of gender-biased assumptions about women's roles, interests, and competencies, which have historically been found in face-to-face contexts, to these digital spaces. For example, cultural assumptions about the frivolity of women's interests, endeavors, issues, and labors make their way into digital discourse that situates the online practices of women as those of passive consumers who use the internet only to shop and socialize, rather than to go about the serious, masculine business of making original digital content.

This project expands on existing digital identity and performativity research, while applying a sorely needed feminist critique to online discourses and discursive practices that assume maleness and masculinity as the default positionality. These methods are one approach to addressing the pressing problems of online harassment, the gender gap in the technology sector, and the gender gap in digital literacies that have pedagogical, political, and structural implications for the classroom, workplace, economic markets, and civic sphere.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Individuals, collectives, sisters: vernacular cosmopolitan praxis among Muslim women in transnational cyberspaces

Description

This dissertation research analyzes the vernacular cosmopolitan praxis of Muslim women in transnational cyberspaces related to topical and collective action networks, in an effort to detangle cosmopolitanism from its Western

This dissertation research analyzes the vernacular cosmopolitan praxis of Muslim women in transnational cyberspaces related to topical and collective action networks, in an effort to detangle cosmopolitanism from its Western biases and to move away from studies of online Muslim populations based on geographical locations or homogenous networks, linking individuals through their religious practices or consumption of religious knowledge. Through highlighting praxes rather than contexts, this dissertation disrupts the East/West binary and challenges stereotypes ascribed to Muslim women. One of the research questions related to the cosmopolitan praxis of Muslim women is the following: in what ways do Muslim women engage with "others" online and contribute to bridging dissimilar people? Findings suggest that the social media use of Muslim women contributes to their subtle resistance against communal norms and, although it can serve as an extension to their voices, some of their voices are more readily mediated than others. I employ a connective content analysis methodology to put various datasets associated with topics and collective actions related to Muslim women into conversation. The methodology not only highlights consistencies in the qualitative themes that were iteratively developed through the analyses of the datasets, but also more tangible connections related to social media users, topics, and content. Consequently, this thesis is as much concerned with recasting Western-oriented conceptualizations of cosmopolitanism as it is with how networks dynamics foster and constrain cosmopolitan praxis because digital networks have the extraordinary capacity to link dissimilar people beyond any other type of medium. One of the research questions related to the methodology is: how do network dynamics facilitate and constrain cosmopolitan praxis? The substantive chapters related to the datasets discuss various forms of cosmopolitan praxis that were identified in the analysis: social media use by Muslim women that expands the connective memory, which could contribute to dispelling stereotypes ascribed to them; activism that addresses universal concerns related to women's rights regardless of context; dialogically devising basic standards of social conduct and gender relations; and expressions of tolerance toward divergent views, including alternative interpretations of Islamic beliefs and practices.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Online communities of female gamers: a resistance analysis of the PMSclan

Description

This research is focused on competitive female video gamers. This study focuses on a specific group of competitive female gamers who participate in an all female online community group or

This research is focused on competitive female video gamers. This study focuses on a specific group of competitive female gamers who participate in an all female online community group or clan known as the PMSclan. The purpose of the study is to analyze the highly competitive female video gaming clan members of the PMSclan in order to understand how resistance is displayed in a female centered video gaming community and how that affects the identity of the individual gamers through Shaw's (2001) theory of resistance. This study employs qualitative research design and uses content analysis of publicly available clan doctrines and member blogs through the PMSclan website. Findings indicate that collective acts of resistance lead to individual acts of resistance which can be seen through self-expression, self-determination, and empowerment. These acts of resistance have a positive impact on female gamers with outcomes of strength and power which can be displayed in a typically masculine society.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013