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Postfeminist Social Networks: Traditional Femininity in Life Coaching Blogs and Image Aggregating Websites (MA Thesis)

Postfeminist Social Networks: Traditional Femininity in Life Coaching Blogs and Image Aggregating Websites (MA Thesis)

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Published by Renee Powers
Many second wave feminists supposed mere use of technology would empower and equalize their daughters’ and granddaughters’ generations. As a part of that generation, I am concerned with the role content plays in this assumption. Women are more comfortable with technology than ever before, yet the adaptations made by content creators to accommodate women’s presence online have worked to reinforce traditional notions of gender. Technology is not inherently liberating or empowering. Using a feminist critique of postfeminism as my framework, I examine particular women’s spaces online, i.e. life coaching blogs, Pinterest, and Etsy Treasury, and uncover what kinds of messages are being perpetuated through technology. Whereas academics once articulated the need for more women in technology, it is clear that my generation should be articulating the need for more feminists in technology. Ideally, the feminists who currently utilize social networking sites need to be more vocal in their politics, setting examples for other users on these sites that postfeminist rhetoric is dangerously complicit with patriarchal ideals.
Many second wave feminists supposed mere use of technology would empower and equalize their daughters’ and granddaughters’ generations. As a part of that generation, I am concerned with the role content plays in this assumption. Women are more comfortable with technology than ever before, yet the adaptations made by content creators to accommodate women’s presence online have worked to reinforce traditional notions of gender. Technology is not inherently liberating or empowering. Using a feminist critique of postfeminism as my framework, I examine particular women’s spaces online, i.e. life coaching blogs, Pinterest, and Etsy Treasury, and uncover what kinds of messages are being perpetuated through technology. Whereas academics once articulated the need for more women in technology, it is clear that my generation should be articulating the need for more feminists in technology. Ideally, the feminists who currently utilize social networking sites need to be more vocal in their politics, setting examples for other users on these sites that postfeminist rhetoric is dangerously complicit with patriarchal ideals.

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Published by: Renee Powers on Apr 03, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/20/2013

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 NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITYDEKALB, ILLINOISMAY 2012POSTFEMINIST SOCIAL NETWORKS:TRADITIONAL FEMININITY INLIFE COACHING BLOGS ANDIMAGE AGGREGATINGWEBSITESBYRENEE M. POWERS
2012 Renee M. PowersA THESIS SUBMITTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOLIN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTFOR THE DEGREEMASTER OF ARTSDEPARTMENT OF COMMUNICATIONThesis Director:Robert Alan Brookey
 
 
 TABLE OF CONTENTSPage
Chapter 1. POSTFEMINIST ONLINE SPACES…………………………… 1Introduction………………………………………………... 1Women’s Historical Online Spaces……………………….. 3Women’s Current Online Spaces………………………….. 5Postfeminism……………………………………………… 9Feminism’s Goals Have Been Achieved………………….. 11Female Empowerment through Consumer Choice………… 12Traditional Roles Framed in Individual Choice…………… 15Social Media, Blogs, Microblogs, and Image Aggregators.. 17Postfeminist Content Creators Online……………………... 222. LIFE COACHING BLOGS……………………………………… 24Introduction…………………………………………………. 24Postfeminism in Life Coaching Blogs……………………… 29Feminism’s Goals Have Been Achieved……………………. 30Women’s Empowerment through Correct Consumer Choices. 35Traditional Femininity through Individual Choices………….. 39Conclusion…………………………………………………… 463. IMAGE AGGREGATING WEBSITES………………………… 48
 
 
Introduction………………………………………………… 48Feminism’s Goals Have Been Achieved…………………… 55Women’s Empowerment through Correct Consumer Choices 58Traditional Femininity Through Individual Choices………… 62Conclusion…………………………………………………… 684. TOWARDS A MORE FEMINIST FUTURE ONLINE…………. 71Introduction…………………………………………………. 71Spreadable Content and Social Media……………………… 72Tenets of Postfeminism…………………………………….. 79Postfeminism vs. Third Wave Feminism…………………… 82Resistance Matters………………………………………….. 85Call for Further Research…………………………………… 87Conclusion………………………………………………….. 88REFERENCES……………………………………………………………... 91

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