Anderson, Alana. “#BLACKONCAMPUS: A Critical Examination of Racial and Gender Performances of Black College Women on Social Media”, Thesis, Boston College, 2017. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:107338.
More than 98 percent of college-aged students use social media and social media usage has increased nationally by almost 1000 percent since 2007 (Griffin, 2015). College students’ social media profiles can be understood as cultural performances and narratives of identity that possess aspects of both fiction and real life (Martínez Alemán & Wartmann, 2008). According to Dalton & Crosby (2013), social media have and will continue to transform the experiences and objectives of colleges and universities and the ways in which students choose to share components of their experience and identity must be examined. This dissertation uses a critical race theory framework to examine how African American college women perform race and gender on social media. This dissertation addresses the following questions: • How do black college women construct identity on social media? • How do black college women perform race and gender on social media? 15 participants from three predominately white institutions (Oxford, Cambridge, Kings College) engaged in individual interviews, participant observations, artifact collection and focus groups as a part of this study. The findings suggest that in person experiences inform what is presented and performed on social media and social media experiences enhance participants lives as college students on their campuses. Black women respond to and are affected by the campus environment in which they routinely encounter racial stress and stereotypes and choose to share some of these experiences on social media.