Abstract - The Information Society 15(3)

Communication Gone Wired: Working Toward a “Practiced” Cyberfeminism

Sibylle Gruber

This article complicates concepts of gender and race in virtual environments by presenting a case study of an African American woman’s (Celie’s) online personalities. It discusses how one woman’s presence in a college class and her online contributions to a (cyber)community of peers influenced her and the group’s perspectives on violence and gender issues. The article shows that Celie’s interactions on a virtual forum are related to and an extension of a multitude of factors such as her upbringing, her schooling, her wish to succeed in an environment often inhospitable and hostile to her needs, and her gendered identity. A close analysis of her online voice provides a starting point for cyberfeminists to look more closely at virtual forums and their potential for enhancing student learning, diversity, and multiple perspectives in classroom environments. This paper also encourages feminist scholars to continue explorations centered around the multiple discourse strategies employed by participants in any given conversation.

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