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Abstract

The gang rape known as the “La Manada” case has had an unprecedented social impact in Spain. This research investigates how this case has been dealt with through Twitter by a collective symbolic coping process (Social Representation Theory). Discourse on Twitter was analyzed at two key points in time: the announcement of the judgment and the aggressors’ release from prison. In total 6,592 tweets with the hashtag #lamanada were selected and their content was analyzed by lexical analysis using Iramuteq software. The results reveal both an awareness phase about the issue along with a divergence phase that saw the emergence of various interpretations about this case, which were confronted. In this divergence phase, feminist discourses took on great significance, expressing anger, calling for social mobilizations, criticizing the victim blaming and creating a dialogue against rape culture. However, the anti-feminist and sexist discourses were also present in this space. It is concluded that discourses on Twitter are a symptom of a shift in mentality whilst at the same time serve as an active constructor of this changed knowledge. Thus, the feminist movement should continue to take this into account in order to converge and normalize the discourse against rape culture. FREE REPRINT: https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/SXB7M2SKVT4RFKHG95NU/full?target=10.1080/14680777.2019.1643387

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... All these investigations conclude that neither the crimes themselves nor their media coverage can be understood if they are not framed within the notion of a rape culture (Idoiaga et al., 2019;Johnson & Johnson, 2021;Keller et al., 2018;Mendes et al., 2018;Phipps et al., 2018;Stubbs-Richardson et al., 2018). In fact, several studies have revealed two phenomena that promote and justify the violent acts suffered by women in the discourses of the digital sphere (Horeck, 2014;Mendes et al., 2018): victim-blaming (Gravelin et al., 2019;Pinciotti & Orcutt, 2017;Stubbs-Richardson et al., 2018) and revictimization (Anastasio & Costa, 2009;Norris et al., 2018;Nwabueze & Oduah, 2014;Relyea & Ullman, 2017). ...
... In modern societies, the influence of digital media on the opinions and discourses constructed by individuals is undeniable (Zaleski et al., 2016). For this reason, analyzing the social representations of violence against women in the digital sphere will allow us to identify the ideas, beliefs, and ideologies that groups have about the image of women within the framework of the culture of violence and from the perspective of Mexican society (Zaleski et al., 2016;Idoiaga et al., 2019;Valencia et al., 2013). ...
... This theory argues that in the digital sphere, the constructs, beliefs, valuations, discourses, and cultural burdens of people's opinions are replicated (Farah, 2011;Höijer, 2011). As the discourse of social networks offers us a naturalistic setting for social thinking (Stubbs-Richardson et al., 2018), such networks have frequently been used for the analysis of Social Representations (SRs) (Idoiaga et al., 2019(Idoiaga et al., , 2020de Rosa et al., 2021;Zamperini et al., 2012). From this research, we conclude that social networks are becoming a field of special interest for analyzing contemporary changes. ...
Article
The digital sphere has become a space in which misogyny-laden discourses are constantly presented. In fact, in Mexico persists a rape culture that justifies violent acts against women and blames the victims of the crimes through social opinions. The present study proposed an approach based on the Theory of Social Representations. In this sense, this study aimed to analyze the discourses that emerge in the digital sphere when users give their opinion on five types of crimes against women: femicide, rape, enforced disappearance, abuse, and sexual harassment. The results revealed that there are four types of discourse (representations) framed within rape culture: disbelief of rape, blaming the victim, revictimization, and disempowering women. It is concluded that Mexican society maintains a representation that stereotypes and devalues the image of women, which allows us to understand the aggressions that women suffer in their daily lives.
... This theory explains how the group gives meaning to novel situations that threaten the established social order, as in the case of these strikes. CSC emphasizes that the social communication about a new issue -such as those that emerge in social networks like Twitter -allows people to face the challenge that this novelty poses (Idoiaga et al., 2020;Orr, Sagi, & Bar-On, 2000;Wagner, 1998). In fact, social network communication offers us a naturalistic setting, since on these platforms opinions are openly and spontaneously discussed in real time (Stubbs-Richardson, Rader, & Cosby, 2018). ...
... With great media repercussions, this case lead to a wave of feminist support and protests, not only in the streets but also (and particularly) on social networks such as Twitter. These protests generated, on the one hand, a social network for mobilization and, on the other, a social conscience about violence against women and the rape culture, which were key factors that triggered the call for the feminist strikes ( (Idoiaga et al., 2020;Campillo, 2018;García et al., 2018). Indeed, at the transnational level, social networks have been crucial to the participative and collective actions that reclaim social and political change, such as, for instance, in the uprisings of Occupy Wall Street (in 2011), the Umbrella Movement (in 2014) or the Yellow vests movement (in 2018) (Bennett, Segerberg, & Walker, 2014;Tremayne, 2014;Tye, Leong, Tan, Barney Tan, & Hooi, 2018). ...
... The first reference point for feminist cyberactivism in Spain was the World March of Women (Boix, 2006). Likewise, other important axis in which the mobilizations have been organized, replicated and spread through the internet are the struggle for the decriminalization of abortion (Fernandez & Marcos, 2015;Perez, 2014), the protests for the case of 'La Manada' mentioned above (Campillo, 2018;García et al., 2018;Idoiaga et al., 2020) and finally the 8 th March 8 protests where online and offline action were mobilized in an unprecedented way (Bernal-Triviño & Sanz-Martos, 2020;Campillo, 2018;Fernandez, 2019;Sosa et al., 2019). ...
Article
The first general women’s strikes to demand gender equality in Spain took place on 8 March 2018 and 2019. Both calls were an amazing success, becoming world references for feminism. This research investigates how the strikes were dealt with through Twitter by a Collective Symbolic Coping (CSC) process. Discourses on Twitter were analysed on both years, 4,384 tweets were selected and their content was analysed by lexical analysis. The results from 2018 indicated the CSC phases of 1) awareness; 2) divergence, where feminist demands and the role of men in the strike were debated; and 3) convergence, where the success of the strike was highlighted. However, in 2019 the feminists on Twitter were forced to cope with a great deal of trolling against them. This trolling was maintained in the awareness and divergence phases, making it difficult to reach a convergent discourse regarding the success of the strike. Moreover, the results also demonstrated that there was no reference hashtag in the strikes. It is concluded that discourse on social networks has become a key factor in feminist social mobilizations and that this feminist digital activism will be critical in the continued dissemination of the claims for gender equality in Spain.
... At the methodological level, the use of the Reinert method to analyze the impact of a specific hashtag is new, although it has been used previously to analyze different social movements or cases of abuse (Idoiaga Mondragon et al., 2020a, 2020b. In this regard we believe that it is an interesting tool as it allows analyzing a large amount of data automatically, but at the same time it makes it possible to give space to the narrative of the Tweets. ...
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Background Incest remains one of the great taboos of contemporary society. Secrecy is also crucial in this type of sexual abuse against children, and many victims do not disclose their testimony. This situation changed, when in France in mid-January 2021, the #MeTooIncest movement emerged, and thousands of victims began to reveal the abuse they had suffered as children. Objective To analyze the discourse on Twitter regarding this hashtag to understand how incest abuse has been dealt with through social media debate. In so doing, we expected to identify the main elements that could explain how people have symbolically constructed and engaged with childhood sexual abuse in general and with incest abuse in particular. Participants and setting In total, 20,556 tweets with the hashtag #MeTooIncest written in French were selected by streaming API from January 14 to February 15, 2021. Methods Their content was analyzed by lexical analysis using Iramuteq software (Reinert method). Results Victims found a space for disclosure in this movement, where they felt believed, protected, and supported. This movement also embraced the victims of celebrity abusers, denouncing them and calling for their exclusion from public life. Likewise, at the societal level, this movement pushed for changes in public policies to protect children and emphasized the importance of breaking the public silence or secrecy about incest abuse. Conclusions This wave of testimonies represents a turning point as it has broken the law of silence and allowed the victims to exist in the media space without being questioned.
... If we focus on the virtual sphere, the accounts collected in the above sections should lead us to think that those on both extreme poles of sexism might be more active UGC creators. For example, the landmark judicial case of 'La Manada' in Spain led to a massive digital response both from feminist and anti-feminist positions (Idoiaga Mondragon et al., 2020). Throughout the internet, people aligned with feminist and anti-feminist perspectives, becoming more vocal on issues related to gender. ...
Article
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Prior research highlights substantial beneficial effects of political user-generated content (UGC) in society, such as diversifying political viewpoints, mobilizing the electorate, and fostering citizens’ civic engagement. However, important user asymmetries exist when creating political content. Gender, age, media uses, and skills gaps have been identified as key variables predicting UGC. This study addressed the political UGC gender gap from a political perspective. We build on previous theory about feminist media studies, political polarization, and cultural backlash theory to disentangle whether hostile sexism predicts UGC creation. Drawing on online survey data from four well-established democracies, we find that those individuals holding hostile sexist views are more likely to generate political content online. Further implications for democracy and the role of women in the digital sphere are discussed.
... Moreover, in 2016, there was a turning point with regard to knowledge about MPR, and media coverage on this type of attack, due to a sexual offence that occurred on 7 July 2016, in the Spanish city of Pamplona. The sexual assault that took place caused an overwhelming response from the general population, generating a multitude of social, political and legal discussions (Fernández, 2018) and having great legal repercussions (Idoiaga Mondragon et al., 2020). After this event, the rate of multiple-perpetrator sexual offences reported between July 2016 and May 2019 represented 5.7% of all sex offences (Cereceda Fernández-Oruña et al., 2017). ...
... This discourse, clearly feminist and particularly manifest in class four, focuses on the patriarchal society that legitimizes image-based abuse (Eikren & Ingram-Waters, 2016;Lageson et al., 2019;McGlynn & Rackley, 2016;McGlynn et al., 2017) and was echoed significantly in this "Iveco case". However, it is also true that this must be framed within the sociohistorical context, since in Spain there has been an important feminist rise in recent years where, for example, two general feminist strikes have taken place and where the rape case of "La Manada" (gang rape recorded and disseminated in a WhatsApp group) had sensitized the public against all kinds of violence against women (Campillo, 2018;Idoiaga, et al., 2019). ...
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This book examines how digital communications technologies have transformed modern societies, with profound effects both for everyday life, and for everyday crimes. Sexual violence, which is recognized globally as a significant human rights problem, has likewise changed in the digital age. Through an investigation into our increasingly and ever-normalised digital lives, this study analyses the rise of technology-facilitated sexual assault, ‘revenge pornography’, online sexual harassment and gender-based hate speech. Drawing on ground-breaking research into the nature and extent of technology-facilitated forms of sexual violence and harassment, the authors explore the reach of these harms, the experiences of victims, the views of service providers and law enforcement bodies, as well as the implications for law, justice and resistance. Sexual Violence in a Digital Age is compelling reading for scholars, activists, and policymakers who seek to understand how technology is implicated in sexual violence, and what needs to be done to address sexual violence in a digital age.
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The idea that women lie about rape is a long standing rape myth with little or no supporting evidence. Previous research has demonstrated a belief in high levels of false allegations among police officers, despite no evidence to suggest rape is falsely reported more than other crimes. This has implications for complainants’ willingness to report sexual violations, for the treatment of complainants within the justice system, and wider societal understandings about what constitutes rape. The data that informs this paper comes from an Economic and Social Research Council-funded study that focussed on rape attrition and the institutional response to rape. Forty in-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with serving police officers in a UK force who regularly deal with reported cases of rape, and explored perceptions, practices and processes around rape. The research found police officers’ estimate of false allegations varies widely from 5 to 90%. The paper will discuss how police officers make judgements about perceived veracity of complainants in rape cases. This will demonstrate that whilst significant progress has been made in how police officers and police forces respond to rape, gender stereotypes about women as deceitful, vengeful and ultimately regretful of sexual encounters, continue to pervade the thinking of some officers. It will show that police officers differentiate between ‘types’ of reports they consider to be false, and operate with a notional ‘hierarchy’ of presumed false allegations that ranges from vengeful/malicious to mistaken/confused, with a corresponding reducing level of culpability attributed to women for the supposedly false allegation. It concludes that this serves to reinforce a culture that both supports and reproduces gender inequality and its manifestation in the form of sexual violence, and that intervention, training and institutional and policy frameworks are not wholly successful in addressing sexual violence in this context.
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SlutWalk explores representations of the global anti-rape movement of the same name, in mainstream news and feminist blogs around the world. It reveals strategies and practices used to adapt the movement to suit local cultures and contexts and explores how social media organized, theorized and publicized this contemporary feminist campaign.
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#BringBackOurGirls shows the potential that cyber-communities have for setting the agenda for mainstream media sources around issues that are life-changing for women and girls around the world. The article examines the ways that social media communities sustained the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, bridging online and offline communities to form a united movement. The analysis is contextualized within the online community-organizing framework of Twitter Topic Networks, as theorized in a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center Internet and American Life Project. This essay studies the evolution of #BringBackOurGirls to analyze the ways that online communities can educate, organize, and mobilize publics.
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American monetary policy is formulated by the Federal Reserve and overseen by Congress. Both policy making and oversight are deliberative processes, although the effect of this deliberation has been difficult to quantify. In this book, Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey provides a systematic examination of deliberation on monetary policy from 1976 to 2008 by the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) and House and Senate banking committees. Her innovative account employs automated textual analysis software to study the verbatim transcripts of FOMC meetings and congressional hearings; these empirical data are supplemented and supported by in-depth interviews with participants in these deliberations. The automated textual analysis measures the characteristic words, phrases, and arguments of committee members; the interviews offer a way to gauge the extent to which the empirical findings accord with the participants’ personal experiences. Analyzing why and under what conditions deliberation matters for monetary policy, the author identifies several strategies of persuasion used by FOMC members, including Paul Volcker’s emphasis on policy credibility and efforts to influence economic expectations. Members of Congress, however, constrained by political considerations, show a relative passivity on the details of monetary policy. .
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The 2013 Steubenville, Ohio, rape case featured a sadly familiar story of juvenile acquaintance rape involving star football players; what captured national interest in the case, however, was how the rapists and peer witnesses alike captured video and photos of the sexual assault and disseminated them swiftly and publicly via social media sites. This qualitative textual analysis utilizes framing theory to explore how national news coverage framed new media technology in relation to the Steubenville rape case, particularly how technology was framed as witness, galvanizer, and threat during the rape and its aftermath. Implications of these frames, as well as a lack of broader sexual assault context in the media coverage, are considered.
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This article investigates the renewed feminist politics that emerge from the interface of digital platforms and activism today, examining the role of digital media in affecting the particular ways that contemporary feminist protests make meaning and are understood transnationally, nationally, and locally. I consider the political investments of digital feminisms in the context of what Angela McRobbie has termed the “undoing of feminism” in neoliberal societies, where discourses of choice, empowerment, and individualism have made feminism seem both second nature and unnecessary. Within this context, I describe a range of recent feminist protest actions that are in a sense redoing feminism for a neoliberal age. A key component of this redoing is the way recent protest actions play out central tensions within historical and contemporary feminist discourse; crucial here is the interrelationship between body politics experienced locally and feminist actions whose efficacy relies on their translocal and transnational articulation. My discussion focuses on three case studies: SlutWalk Berlin, Peaches’ “Free Pussy Riot!” video, and the Twitter campaigns #Aufschrei and #YesAllWomen. My analysis ultimately calls attention to the precarity of digital feminisms, which reflect both the oppressive nature of neoliberalism and the possibilities it offers for new subjectivities and social formations.
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In March 2011, The New York Times reported the serial gang rape of a schoolgirl in the small town of Cleveland, Texas. Responses to the story were swift and damning: bloggers and commentators quickly identified the patriarchal and victim-blaming aspects of The Times' coverage, resulting in an influential petition and an apology from The Times. This study employs critical textual analysis to interrogate the critical responses to The Times story. The analysis reveals that commentators recognized misogynist bias in The Times' reporter's use of sources and quotes, the lexical structures in the text, and the strategic elision of race as a “present absence” in the news article. This analysis concludes that in channeling feminist conceptual tropes, the bloggers and commentators engaged in feminist praxis, raising awareness of patriarchal frames for sexual violence as well as galvanizing progressive action. But the study also points to a continued need for vigilance and feminist activism around sexual violence and child abuse.
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Social movement theorists have developed several concepts to explain the role of social networking in maintaining social movements. This is particularly relevant for periods when levels of public activism are low due to backlash, hostile social contexts and structural uncertainties. As part of my study of the women's movement online and feminist blog networks in Australia, I provide a review of several of these concepts, interrogating their applicability to the study of online communities. This paper explores the relevance of the social movement theory concepts of submerged networks, abeyance structures and the related idea of counterpublics for the study of feminist blog networks. In 2009, the radio station Triple J's ‘Hottest 100 of All Time’ poll featured no solo women artists, and women played on few tracks. In response to this, several strands of discourse developed in the Australian feminist blogosphere identifying ways that the history of rock music excludes or erases women. Activists developed a cross-platform poll on Twitter, Facebook and email, and promoted it through blogs and Twitter, to counter the ‘Hottest 100 Men’ with a ‘Hottest 100 Women’. This paper shows the ways these women have used blogging networks to challenge mainstream discourses and generate new ones.
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Social media are increasingly being used as an information source, including information related to risks and crises. The current study examines how pieces of information available in social media impact perceptions of source credibility. Specifically, participants in the study were asked to view 1 of 3 mock Twitter.com pages that varied the recency with which tweets were posted and then to report on their perceived source credibility of the page owner. Data indicate that recency of tweets impacts source credibility; however, this relationship is mediated by cognitive elaboration. These data suggest many implications for theory and application, both in computer-mediated communication and crisis communication. These implications are discussed, along with limitations of the current study and directions for future research.
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This article presents the first steps towards a sociological understanding of emergent social media. This article uses Twitter, the most popular social media website, as its focus. Recently, the social media site has been prominently associated with social movements in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, and Algeria. Rather than rush to breathlessly describe its novel role in shaping contemporary social movements, this article takes a step back and considers Twitter in historical and broad sociological terms. This article is not intended to provide empirical evidence or a fully formed theoretical understanding of Twitter, but rather to provide a selected literature review and a set of directions for sociologists. The article makes connections specifically to Erving Goffman’s interactionist work, not only to make the claim that some existing sociological theory can be used to think critically about Twitter, but also to provide some initial thoughts on how such theoretical innovations can be developed.
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Much of the news media’s coverage of sexual violence perpetuates myths and stereotypes about rape, rapists and rape victims (Burt, 1980). This is troubling, as the news media shapes public opinion about rape (Soothill, 1991) and can affect policy-making, not to mention the running of the legal system itself (Emmers-Sommer et al., 2006: 314). The news media frequently portray rapists using monster imagery (Barnett, 2008; Mason and Monckton-Smith, 2008; Soothill et al., 1990), their victims classed either as ‘virgins’ attacked by these so-called ‘monsters’ or instead as promiscuous women who invited the rape (Benedict, 1992). These depictions can impact upon public opinion as the more frequently rape myths are used, the more accessible they become. This can be harmful to rape victims when individuals who subscribe to these myths are involved in the criminal justice system (Franiuk et al., 2008: 304–305). Through a lexical analysis of the newspaper coverage surrounding three news events gathered from three LexisNexis searches, this article assesses the use of rape myths within the British and American news media’s reporting of such violence.
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Moscovici, S. (1984). The phenomenon of social representations. In R. Farr & S. Moscovici (Eds.), Social representations (pp. 3-69). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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ALCESTE - A Methodology of Textual Data Analysis and an Application: Aurélia by Gérard de Nerval. Beginning with a cross-tabulation with different all sentence fragments in rows and a selected vocabulary in columns for a specific corpus, the author presents: the methodology, including principle concepts and objectives of this form of analysis; the technique, the ALCESTE computer program of automatic classification based on resemblance or dissimilarity: and an application, the analysis of Gérard de Nerval's text Aurélia. The analysis distinguishes three types of fragments which are described and analyzed further.
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In recent years, both the media and the government in the UK have been increasingly preoccupied with the problem of rape involving alcohol. For example, in order to increase low conviction rates, the government proposed, yet eventually rejected, reforms equating drunkenness with incapacity to consent to sexual intercourse. Research evidence, for example studies by Benedict (1992) or Finch and Munro (2005, 2007), suggests that conviction rates are influenced by an interplay of cultural discourses and legal arrangements. This article uses discourse analysis to identify and critically examine the major discourses which are produced around rape involving alcohol in one major daily newspaper, the Daily Mail. This conservative paper disapproves of women's binge drinking and is unsympathetic to victims of rape involving alcohol. The analysis indicates that its discourses deprecate and delegitimise victims by a) reinvigorating and refashioning old rape myths, b) re-gendering rape involving alcohol as a problem of female drinking rather than male sexual violence, and c) masquerading women's responsibilities and risks as rights. These findings open up the possibility for research into the popularity of these discourses across contemporary culture and their impact on cultural consumers, including those involved in legal decision-making processes.
This article explores the use of new technologies and the internet in the creation of new relational spaces, or online collectives, that have arisen in Spanish online feminist praxis as an activist proposal in the particular sphere of the fight against violence against women. Its main objective is to provide an overview of some of the diverse women's communities online in Spain that are using the internet for issues of activism in relation to the fight against violence against women. This article aims to show the differences in how these collectives were created, and how they define Spanish cyberactivist praxis from different practice-based positions. It argues that these online collectives work to preserve a sense of a project of female agency in two ways: they can serve both as a concrete cyberactivist claim that strengthens political action offline, and as a conceptualization of the broad and independent feminist positions that make up online feminist praxis.