Approaching informal learning about #feminism on Twitter

V. Valcarce de Veer, P. Valdivia-Vizarreta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose
In a socio-educational context impregnated by social networks, feminist organizations and individuals have turned to social media to spread their knowledge. This paper aims to approach how feminist tweets are produced to ignite meaningful informal learning (IL) processes.

Design/methodology/approach
This study uses an interdisciplinary mixed methodology. By using Twitter tracking tools, a database has been enabled to catalogue feminist hashtags into topics and categories for further analysis. These data have been contrasted with surveys to the managers of the most followed feminist accounts in Spain and Catalonia.

Findings
From an educational perspective, the analysed feminist hashtags have been organized in 13 different topic categories. The different propagation processes on Twitter – tweeting and retweeting – imply diverse learning processes. Moreover, tweets with complementary information such as images or links generate the most interaction, being the preferred format for IL.

Research limitations/implications
Researching with Big Data in educational sciences is a field in development, and Twitter data collection tools are mostly addressed to marketing and economic sectors; thus, free tools with limited services were used, offering the analysis of a brief and concrete situation of a platform in constant change. Although this ephemeral data and its relevance does not prevail over time, it has an impact on citizens’ learning.

Originality/value
It is the first study in Spain that illustrates the informal education that feminism offers to the community, facing the complexity of measuring Twitter with an educational perspective through the use of marketing tools.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-173
Number of pages13
JournalOn the Horizon
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Big Data
  • Data mining
  • Twitter
  • Informal learning
  • Gender
  • Internet gender issues
  • Social pedagogy

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