Vitale, Danielle Teresa
MetadataShow full item record
White college women are the largest user group of social media. Facebook and Instagram are two of the most popular social media platforms. Current research around college students and social media focuses on digital identity development. Through online profiles and in mediated communities through social media, users create their identity from pictures and posts, and this identity portrays their gender performance. The purpose of this research was to explore how these White college women used social media to present their identity and to perform their gender. Using a phenomenological methodology, informed by a cultural feminist perspective, I studied the phenomenon of gender performance of White college women on social media. The participants included eight White, cisgender college women at a large, research university in the Southeast, whose ages ranged from 19 to 22 years old. The findings indicated that gender performance and identity development of White college women is shaped by the different roles of the social media platforms, the norms of social media use, and the different audiences who consume the gender performance on each of the platforms. Gender performance and identity development through social media is built upon a foundation of physical appearance and presentation. This research contributed to a growing body of literature surrounding digital identity development, and advanced cultural feminism as a theoretical paradigm in social media research. The current study also promoted further understanding and support of mental health and body image issues that college women face.