The Fourth Wave: Contemporary consciousness-raising & discursive digital feminist narratives of gender-based violence
This research aims to understand how the sharing of online narratives of gender-based violence facilitate consciousness-raising processes of fourth-wave feminism. Scholars have long recognised the importance of consciousness-raising in feminist activism. Many contend that hashtag feminism: sharing stories, opinions and support in digital public space, constitutes contemporary feminist practice. This visible and public form of consciousness-raising is essential to fourth-wave feminism. Online forums not only offer support for public activism but also provide new spaces for socio-political discourse creation.
This research is particularly interested in how engagement with online counterpublics has affected women and non-binary people’s perception of their right to public space - both in regards to their body in space and their engagement with broader feminist discourse. Feminist transformation is a key tenet of this research. The research will be supported by concepts such as affective solidarity and discursive activism to understand the process of feminist transformation through online counterpublics. This research will develop a framework for online consciousness-raising which will be used as a resource for those who want to understand online feminist processes of transformation, design their own online space for feminist transformation and/or raise feminist consciousness in the fourth wave.