Gender, Race, and Social Media


Gender, Race, and Social Media



Julia Bunch, Kaitlin Hall, Madeleine Carrane, Jenna Borrelli


Presentation: 10:00-11:00 a.m., Kennedy Union 312



In the twenty-first century, social media is a key site where meanings about personal experiences and intergroup relations are navigated and reproduced. In this panel, presenters explore how gendered and racialized identities are constructed on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Twitter. The first paper investigates how women invoke medicalized discourse and authority through the issue of infant sleep to assert their status as good mothers. The second paper explores how masculinity is constructed on the University of Dayton Barstool Flyers account. The third paper reveals how young women narrate experiences of sexual assault in short video clips. Finally, the fourth paper discusses the topic of race-swapping in fictional film through a case study of "The Little Mermaid" and the recent casting of an African-American actress in the lead role. Each of these papers is based on original social science research undertaken by presenters for the sociology senior capstone. Taken together, the papers reveal the myriad ways that social media functions as a space to (re)produce gendered and racialized identities. This panel should be of interest to folks who are interested in thinking through the power, value, and pitfalls of social media in modern life.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Capstone Project

Primary Advisor

Jamie Small

Primary Advisor's Department

Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work


Stander Symposium, College of Arts and Sciences

Institutional Learning Goals

Scholarship; Diversity; Critical Evaluation of Our Times

Gender, Race, and Social Media