Promotion of Feminist Ideas in Instagram Texts

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Alla M. Shesterina

Doctor of Philology, Professor at the Chair of Electronic Media and Speech Communication, Voronezh State University, Voronezh, Russia

Olga A. Fedosova

PhD degree-seeking student at the Chair of Electronic Media and Speech Communication, Voronezh State University, Voronezh, Russia


Section: New Media

Instagram has become one of the most effective platforms for the formation of public opinion within particular social groups. Its rising popularity as well as the fact that 70% of its users are female makes Instagram a favorable platform for perpetuating feminist ideas. Based on discourse analysis of texts on macro and micro levels, this article describes the methods used by fem-bloggers for audience impact. In the course of the analysis, the authors of the article conclude that while many pieces of text are based on logical argumentation, the main method used by bloggers is persuasion and combining logical and structured information with techniques of emotional manipulation. Among the methods of psychological influence used by bloggers, the following techniques stand out: “manipulation of cards”, the “method of negative attribution groups”, “sticking labels”, “ridicule”, the “principle of contrast”, “emotional charging”, “enemy image”, “expressive blow”, “simplification”, polarization of assessments, hyperbolization and narrowing of context. In these cases, emotional contamination plays a special role. As a result of the analysis, the authors highlight the main topics of publications in support of feminism (domestic violence, victim blaming, ban on abortion, gender stereotypes, gender holidays, body positivity, misogyny, women in the workplace), their key ideas and the tools used for their promotion. The study also identifies the most popular attitudes that fem bloggers deconstruct in their posts: “gender roles are determined by nature”, “women can be condemned for their bodies”, “a woman must obey a man”, “female intelligence is worse than male”, “all women are hysterical”, “there is no friendship between genders”, and the like. The most popular lexical means used in fem blogs are metaphors, allusions, evaluative lexis and dysphemisms. Popular rhetorical techniques include addresses, appeals and rhetorical questions. Bloggers tend to use colloquial vocabulary to make texts easier to read. In general, it might be said that the techniques used by bloggers on Instagram are similar to those commonly used by journalists in traditional media. A striking difference from journalistic texts is the use of a large number of colloquial constructions, harsh criticism and increased emotionality.

Keywords: Instagram, blogging, feminism, means of influence
DOI: 10.30547/vestnik.journ.4.2021.114134


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