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Hoes and Hashtags: Constructions of Gender and Race in Trending Topics

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

Social Semiotics, Volume 24, Issue 2 (2014)

Keywords:

culture, Gender, Race, semantic formation, trending, Twitter

Abstract:

This study examines Twitter’s hashtag trend topic functionality in America and explores social dialects within popular trending topics, specifically categories relating to the social constructions of gender and race where the majority of users employ Black avatars. The methodology applies a content analysis of words within a specific 24-hour trending hashtag (#becauseofhoes), followed by a critical discourse analysis, informed by feminist thought and critical race theory, of the emergent semantic fields. While previous research examines the "social relevance" of Twitter hashtags, this study’s results and discussion explore the semiosis, or analysis of cultural communication, of gender and race constructions within trending topics popular with what appear to be predominately Black participants.