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DIGITAL FEMINISM: QUESTIONING THE RENEWAL OF ACTIVISM
DIGITAL FEMINISM: QUESTIONING THE RENEWAL OF ACTIVISM

Author(s): Josiane Jouët
Subject(s): Gender Studies, Media studies, Sociology, ICT Information and Communications Technologies
Published by: Addleton Academic Publishers
Keywords: feminism; digital practices; cultural content; performative activism; virtual communities; sociology;

Summary/Abstract: This article questions the underlying social and political factors explaining the revival of feminism, and analyzes how feminists use digital media to promote their cause. It presents the results of a two-year research project on feminist activism in France; however, many results have broader implications for the evolution of feminism in Western countries. The survey is based on an ethnographic online observation of nine feminist collectives, on face-to-face interviews with activists, and on a qualitative survey of ordinary feminists. We examine the diversity of feminist collectives and how digital media have contributed to the rise of a new leadership and of new organizational practices. Young activists are experts in producing visual narratives (images, video, etc.), in using unconventional repertoires of action (humor, satire, etc.) and in networking. They make events and campaigns which are widely echoed in the public sphere and the mediation of digital media leads to a form of performative activism. Connectivity widens the audience and contributes to the building of virtual communities. However, the high visibility of digital feminism led to the rise of a virulent cyber-sexism. Finally, questions remain about the empowerment of feminists at a time when conservative forces are re-emerging in Western societies.

  • Issue Year: 8/2018
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 133-157
  • Page Count: 25
  • Language: English