For this week’s Big Tent Meeting, Beatrys is looking for feedback for her upcoming dissertation project. 

People with marginalized identities have been particularly subject to a type of harassment conceptualized as “networked harassment” (Marwick, 2021), when mobs connected through social media harass an individual, hoping to reinforce their community’s morals and signal their membership to a community. Indeed, these technology-mediated violences contribute to upholding hegemonic social hierarchies, especially misogyny, defined as “the system of enforcing social norms or expectations regarding gender” (Valente, 2023). My dissertation aims to contribute to the ongoing conversation on technology-mediated misogyny in Brazil and the United States, showcasing how people have resisted the unequal power structures on the circuits of digital media. I will be centering the lived experiences of people who have historically marginalized identities and who have their livelihoods tied to digital platforms.  

Specifically, against the backdrop of digital platforms, I am investigating: 1) paths for resistance and insubordination against networked harassment; 2) how the underlying infrastructures for visibility shape networked harassment, especially across gendered and racialized identities; and 3) examining current strengths and shortcomings of current institutional responses when dealing with technology-mediated misogyny.

She is hoping to conduct a multi-methodological approach, particularly inspired by Latin American participatory-action methods, also known as militant research methods (Serpa, 2023). Rather than striving for descriptive or analytical comprehension of social phenomena, militant research strives to foster a relationship between the researcher and the researched in a mutual strive to dismantle their lived injustices. Thus, she will be hosting a gathering of feminists who have been subject to network harassment or who have been actively trying to tackle the issue. 

During the meeting, I hope we can discuss the following guiding questions:

  1. Think about a gathering or an event that had a lasting impact on you – which aspects of the gathering were pivotal for your transformation? 
  2. What would make you want to participate in an event about an issue you care about? 
  3. What are some effective ways of managing different interests when people from other institutions/organizations get together? And how do we store collective learning while respecting people’s varying preferences for anonymity? 
  4. What are some creative ways to learn about an issue you didn’t know about before?
  5. Do you have any suggestions of people and/or organizations I should reach out to/get inspired by that have done similar work?  

Sources: 

Marwick, A. E. (2021). Morally Motivated Networked Harassment as Normative Reinforcement. Social Media + Society, 7(2), 20563051211021376. https://doi.org/10.1177/20563051211021378

Osvald Ramos, D., & Nicolau Saad Corrêa, E. (2023). Jornalistas, assédios e violências nos ambientes digital e físico: O cenário brasileiro. Estudos Em Jornalismo e Mídia, 19(2). https://doi.org/10.5007/1984-6924.2022.83476

Serpa, B. (2023). Militant Design Research: A Proposal to Politicize Design Knowledge-making. Diseña, 22, Article 22. https://doi.org/10.7764/disena.22.Article.4

Valente, M. (2023). Misoginia na internet: Uma década de disputas por direitos. Fósforo.