Blogging While Black: a critical analysis of resistance discourse by black female bloggers

Catherine Knight Steele

Abstract


Participation in public discourse has always been limited for marginalized groups in society. Previous research examines internet blogging as a place for individuals and communities to participate in the political process. Minority bloggers may use blogs as means of mobilizing their readers around particular political causes and issues. While this work causes us to consider blogging as an avenue of incorporation into mainstream political participation, it does not chart the ways in which blogging may be used as subversive act to resist oppression by Black women in particular. This analysis attempts to account for the ways community conversations can function as an act of resistance even when overt political motivations and advocacy are not the primary goal. Gossip has previously been considered for its usefulness in managing female relationships and as a subversive act by women. Within a Black Feminist Epistemology, Black female gossip blogs are considered a possible site for resistance to oppression at three levels: the personal, the communal and the institutional. This analysis considers how a black feminist dialectic is used by certain gossip bloggers and abandoned by others. A discussion follows with implications for new media space as a tool for the continued proliferation of resistance of oppression by Black women and other marginalized groups.

Keywords


black feminism; gossip; resistance; blogs

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