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The Underdogs Strike Back: Usage of socialmedia platforms by female body activists to resist stigmatization
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media. (Digital Media and Society)
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study explores what female body activists aim to achieve by initiating and carrying out their movements on social media platforms. It also explores how female body activists make use of social media in their favor to challenge normative ideals of femininity and resist stigmatization of female body fat and hair.

The exploration of the issues of stigmatization of female body fat and hair in this study relies on Michel Foucault’s theory on disciplinary power and disciplinary practices as well as Erving Goffman’s theory on stigmatization. This study claims that stigmatization can be considered as a disciplinary practice to control and regulate female bodies. Through construction of gender norms of femininity and norms of acceptable bodies in the society, body hair and fat on female bodies are stigmatized when they are visible attributes. This stigmatization acts as a control mechanism of bodies and forces bodies to comply with the norms.

In this study, related to the idea of disciplined and stigmatized female bodies, female body activists are investigated in the context of deviant and rebellious bodies which aim to challenge norms of femininity and resist stigmatization by posting their selfies on social media platforms, to expose real life depictions of different types of female bodies, to create body positivity and acceptance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 116 p.
Keyword [en]
body activism, social media, disciplinary practices, stigma, online movements, resistance, body hair, body fat, female body activists, exposure
National Category
Media Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-296657OAI: diva2:939283
Subject / course
Digital Media
Educational program
Master Programme in Social Sciences
Available from: 2016-06-20 Created: 2016-06-18 Last updated: 2016-06-20Bibliographically approved

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