Disbelief and counter-voices: a thematic analysis of online reader comments about sexual harassment and sexual violence against women.



Harmer, Emily ORCID: 0000-0002-7842-4829 and Lewis, Sarah
(2020) Disbelief and counter-voices: a thematic analysis of online reader comments about sexual harassment and sexual violence against women. Information, Communication and Society.

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Abstract

Research about online comment fields on news websites tends to foreground their potential for deliberative discussions whilst little attention is given to the ways these spaces reinforce existing gender inequalities. This study analyses online newspaper comments on articles about gender based violence to establish whether the historic marginalisation of women within public discussions is being reasserted online. Using thematic analysis, this study found that responses were characterised by disbelief. Posters questioned the type and nature of evidence that had been provided, they questioned whether these problems resulted from sexism and they questioned the feminist agenda behind the blogs. While voices expressing disbelief were dominant, there were counter-voices attempting to critique the scepticism by advocating for the importance of the lived experience women and girls. The study demonstrates that online comments on news websites operate as gendered spaces that can marginalise women from the public discussion of social problems.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: online comments, sexism, gender, feminism, secual violence, public sphere
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 07 May 2020 10:18
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2021 11:51
DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2020.1770832
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3086364