Digital storytelling encompasses a broad and crucial area of both cultural production and consumption. In Amy Shield Dobson’s Postfeminist Digital Cultures: Femininity, Social Media, and Self-Representation, young women are the active agents responsible for establishing and creating narratives in the media landscape—they are cultural producers. Using social networking sites as their blank page, these young women digitally reflect and experiment with their identities, participate in the creation and expression of others’, and contribute to the understanding of self-representation within gendered narratives of authorship and self-discovery. Dobson approaches these questions much like a scholar does humanities studies; using social, cultural, political, and historical contexts Dobson theorizes girlhood … Continue reading Women and Cultural Reproduction: Self-Representation as Digital Storytelling
Dobson, Amy Shields. Postfeminist Digital Cultures: Femininity, Social Media, and Self-Representation. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. Print.
Dobson’s critical study grapples with the question of what it means to perform femininity in contemporary digital cultures. Her book attends to both digital spheres and genres of digital media, using platforms such as social networking sites, as they span and straddle our understandings of the public and private, personal and professional. Her subjects of study are young women and the ways in which they interact with media as an expression of identity through digital self-representations. These online identities and self-representations, she argues, carry with them the political implications of negotiating conditions within post-feminist techno-social mediascapes. Dobson uses cultural theories such as the Foucauldian notion of regulation, to investigate the cultural ramifications of self-representation within a participatory and interactive culture, emphasizing the systems of power, coercion, and exploitation at play within these mediascapes. How, for example, does one negotiate their identity and agency in order to participate and belong within this growing online culture? What are the implications of submitting to these forms of control in one’s authentic representation of self? Continue reading “Postfeminist Digital Cultures: Femininity, Social Media, and Self-Representation”