Date of Completion

10-30-2017

Embargo Period

12-1-2017

Advisors

Matthew W. Hughey, Daisy Verduzco Reyes, David Embrick

Field of Study

Sociology

Degree

Master of Arts

Open Access

Open Access

Abstract

This thesis analyses both news articles and tweets discussing #SayHerName and both implicit and explicit discussions of race, gender, and sexuality. Prior research on media representations of race, gender and violence has found that black women have been denied visibility as victims in unilateral media portrayals of gendered violence, which has contributed to the social problem of black women’s marginalization as their experiences of injustice become invalidated. This denial is not directly stated, rather it functions through a use of controlling images which reproduce racist, sexist, and heteronormative media messages by naturalizing black women as devious, promiscuous, and aggressive. This analysis illustrates how Twitter can be used as a space to generate both hegemonic and counter-hegemonic narratives that oppose and support “common sensed,” and dominant racist and sexist conceptualizations of black women. This research furthers understandings of the relationship between the media and racialized and gendered constructions, specifically giving attention to black trans-women of color who have largely been excluded from analyses on race, gender, and the media. Through discussions of victimhood, violence, and visibility, notions of black femininity are (re)constructed.

Major Advisor

Matthew W. Hughey

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