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Feminist Theory: A Transformative Lens for Analyzing Online Hate Discourse

This blog post summarizes my takeaway from one of my courses, Feminism, Gender and Sovereignty. Initially, I was unsure how feminist theory could relate to my research interests. However, as I began to engage with the concepts and ideas within the course, I realized that adopting a feminist perspective could provide me with a powerful new lens to analyze Nigerian online hate discourse. Specifically

, incorporating feminist perspectives in my research can: Here are three ways that feminist theory can enrich my research:

1. Identify Gendered Patterns: It can help me spot gendered patterns in hate discourse. Hate speech and abusive language often have a gendered dimension that can be overlooked. By paying attention to these patterns, I can gain a deeper understanding of the problem and suggest more effective solutions.

2. Challenge Traditional Assumptions: It can challenge me to question traditional assumptions about society, especially those related to gender and power. Feminist theory invites me to critically examine the norms and expectations that shape our world and influence our behaviour. By doing so, I can challenge the status quo and advocate for more inclusive and fair practices in my field.

3. Foster Intersectional Approaches: It can encourage me to adopt an intersectional approach that considers the diversity of experiences among people affected by hate discourse. Feminist theory recognizes that gender is not the only factor that shapes our identities and experiences. Other factors, such as race and class also matter. I can explore how these factors interact and affect people differently by taking an intersectional approach.

Even if I do not incorporate all these in my current research, at least I have gained new knowledge that I believe, would be beneficial in my future examination of similar discourses.

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