Socialising Media? Understanding young women with Asperger’s Syndrome and Social Media Use
The use of social media by young women users has attracted much discussion and debate, especially around notions of empowerment and exploitation (boyd (2014); Schofield Clark (2013)). And yet, in this conflation, some gaps remain: young women with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS). Characterised asa male condition, much of the work around Asperger’s has perpetuated stereotypes around socialisation and gender. This thesis explores the intersection between young women with Asperger’s and their use of social media, and argues that the online provides a more comfortable mode for communication and being social. Grounded in the emerging online ‘Aspie’ culture, with particular focus on blogs and vlogs on YouTube, this thesis strives to recognise the issues that matter to young Asperger’s women. Through discourse analysis of online content generated by some key Aspie females, Socialising Media not only seeks to investigate what types community, performativity (and empowerment if at all) social media provides for young AS women. This thesis asks: how does the online facilitate representations, debates and discourse for the often invisible group of young women with Asperger’s Syndrome?
Socialising Media Thesis (PDF 3.3MB)