Hegemonic masculinity and emphasised femininity: A comparative analysis of fitness bloggers Instagram accounts from May 2017

Cassidy, Lauren (2017) Hegemonic masculinity and emphasised femininity: A comparative analysis of fitness bloggers Instagram accounts from May 2017. Masters thesis, Griffith College.


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The purpose of this investigation is to compare and contrast the way fitness bloggers present themselves on Instagram, with particular reference to masculinity and femininity. The research design is based on a review of previous literature and a content analysis of male and female bloggers Instagram accounts from May 1 2017 through May 31 2017. The method of investigation involved a “points system” model, in which the presence of themes and image elements are awarded a point. This was then used as a percentage of the month’s posts in order to indicate the presence volume of particular themes and traits for May 2017. This involved the analysis of 316 Instagram posts accumulated by three male and three female fitness bloggers considered to be of significant influential power. Prior to the official content analysis, initial study was undertaken, during which a thematic and trait code system was constructed. This was used to highlight themes and traits that were necessary for inclusion in the study. For example, during the initial study, the topic of food featured prominently across both genders of fitness bloggers. Therefore, it was added to the thematic categories in terms of images and of captions. The “points system” that followed, allowed for a quantitative angle on themes presence and therefore allowing the presence volume to be contrasted and compared across both genders. My results indicate that masculine and feminine traits are exhibited by both genders. These results have been itemised by research questions in the following chapter. The results indicate that objectification is as common among male bloggers as female bloggers. It also indicated that women offer audiences journey based narratives that centre on a positive relationship with food, whereas male bloggers offer themselves as objects and present themselves as the centre of their life narrative. A number of tables throughout the study highlight areas where male and female bloggers differ and areas where they share traits. These are expressed through statistics. One of the most interesting results shows differences in the way male and female bloggers present themselves. Male bloggers turned out to present themselves as more revealing throughout the month and were less likely to present themselves in an unrevealing manner. This is interesting given part theories regarding women in the media, and in particular, sports women in the media. However, male bloggers have more influential power than female bloggers given they have a larger followership and accumulate more total engagement. This may support theories that are developed from the phrase “sex sells”. However, this might be the purpose of their Instagram. Product promotion was the most prominent theme across both genders, each selling either their own and name brand products. However, differences in promotional tactics arose between the two sexes for the most part of the study. Feminine traits were displayed in male bloggers at a ratio of 2:1 while female bloggers displayed masculine traits at a ratio of 2:1 also. This highlights a meshing of hegemonic masculinity and female apologetic across both genders.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: bloggers, instagram,social media,
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Journalism & Media Communications > MA in Journalism & Media Communications
Depositing User: Ms Dimphne Ni Bhraonain
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2018 10:42
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2018 10:42
URI: http://go.griffith.ie/id/eprint/150

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