Femina Politica – Zeitschrift für feministische Politikwissenschaft
Year of publication
Publics and the Web: Between Feminism and Antifeminism The concept of a public sphere („Öffentlichkeit“) has been of central concern to Gender Studies. Alongside the feminist critique of dominance changes of media and communication technologies have led to a reconsideration of the concept. Taking the Three-Layer-Model of the public sphere as the starting-point Ricarda Drüeke and Elisabeth Klaus examine how publics are constituted in the Internet, discuss the consequences for their formation and ponder their meaning for the processes of social debate and cultural understanding. The authors explore the prominent German antisexist twitter-debate #aufschrei as an example for alternative forms of political debates on the Internet and their potential for the formation of feminist counter-publics. However, #aufschrei was denounced on masculinist and antifeminist sites, thereby demonstrating the limits, problems, and risks of these new forums of communication. The empirically grounded analysis shows that antisexist and feminist positions remain contested in the process of public debate and cultural understanding, so that Internet publics are ambivalent as regards their potential to foster social change.
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