We Can't Stop (Tweeting): A Study on Young Girls' Understanding of Feminism from Miley Cyrus on Social Media

Tan, R.G.C. (2016). We Can’t Stop (Tweeting): A Study on Young Girls’ Understanding of Feminism from Miley Cyrus on Social Media. Unpublished undergraduate thesis. University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication

Social media has become an important part in the lives of young people, and in their use of the media they are exposed to content that may or may not affect their understanding of particular concepts. Specifically, feminism is an oft-discussed topic and female celebrities, such as American pop singer Miley Cyrus, have been active in branding themselves as such. This thesis, guided by Hall’s Encoding Decoding theory and Mcluhan’s Media Ecology, studied how girls age 12 to 17 understood the message of feminism sent by Miley Cyrus on her social media posts. Upon operationalizing Miley Cyrus’ specific brand of feminism, face to face interviews were conducted with 19 respondents. They explained the importance they assign to social media in their lives, their interest in celebrities, as well as how they understood the celebrity’s posts. Miley Cyrus is mostly successful in sending her feminist message through her accounts. Generally, while the value given by the girls to social media plays a part in their message acceptance from celebrities through the platform; the young girls are able to decide for themselves, their own understanding of feminism, based on their observations.

Keywords: young girls, feminist celebrities, Miley Cyrus, feminism, social media, understanding of young audiences, encoding decoding, media ecology

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